Sofia Mavroidi-Papadaki

Biographical Note

Sofia Mavroidi-Papadaki
   Sofia Mavroidi-Papadaki was born on the 26th June 1898 in Fourni of Lasithi Crete and passed away in Kallithea on the 28th June 1977.
Initially, she studied at Fourni Girls’ School and then at Neapoli Girls’ High School.
She continued her studies in Heraklion, Crete, where she received a teaching degree and served in Cretan primary education for a while.
Following that, she proceeded to Athens in order to resume her studies and registered at the French Institute “Institut Superieur d’Etudes Francaises”, from which she graduated with a degree in French Literature.

Her studies continued with her registration at the University of Athens, from which she graduated in 1931 with a degree in Philology.
She married the poet and Greek Naval officer Kosta A. Papadakis and devoted herself to education and creative writing.
As an educator, she served in middle and higher education for 40 years.
She mainly taught Modern Greek Literature, Ancient Greek and History.
In 1970, she retired from active service.
Parallel to her educational career, Sofia Mauroidi Papadaki as a poet, prose writer and essay writer engaged in a collection of intellectual activities that sprawled over many years.
These included lectures and radio broadcasts, various writings, journalism, as well as translations and lectures in foreign literature.
Sofia Mavroidi Papadaki first appeared in Modern Greek literature with the poem “Daskala” [“Teacher”] which was published in L.Mavridis “Pnoi” [“Breath”] and with another partnership and translations from Russian literature, which were published in the magazine “Logos” [“Speech”].
Particular success was achieved through the poetic recreations of a series of “Portuguese Sonetes” by Elizabeth-Barret-Browning that were published in “Nea Estia” [“New Residence”] and in various literature magazines.
It was for this work that the poet Kleandros Kartheos dedicated one of his best poems, which was published in Meli’s Nikolaidis “Pneumatiki Zoi” [“Intellectual Life”].
Critics, especially Kostas Palamas, welcomed her first poetic collection “Ores Agapis” [“Hours of Love”] in 1934 with enthusiasm.
Sofia Mavroidi-Papadaki also engaged in prose writing and in particular writing children’s books and children’s theatre, as can been seen in the list of her work.
In addition, she was also engaged in critique and held the book and theatre critique column in “Pneumatiki Zoi” [“Intellectual Life”] and “Neoelliniki Logotexnia” [“Modern Greek literature”].
Many of her essays and critical articles have been published in encyclopedias, magazines and Xari Patsis’ Encyclopedia of “Neoellinika Grammata” [“Modern Greek Literature”].
She also fore-worded, with extensive essays, the work of Kordilaki and Eleni Alexiou’s “Spoudi” [“Study”].
Sofia Mauroidi Papadaki took part in the resistance and her second poetic collection “Tis Niotis Kai tis Leutherias” [“Of Youth And Freedom”] was honored with the national resistance award in 1940.
During the Albanian war, having been recruited by the ministry of education she taught the lesson of essay writing to all Greek children via radio, while all schools were closed.
It was for this contribution that she received an honorary recognition from the ministry of education.
From 1928 till today, her presence in Greek writing has been unremitting.
She is a member of “The Greek Literature Writer’s Association”, [“The Children’s Book Circle”] and of the “Academie de la balade Francaise”.
She has published five translations of books from both French and English.
But above all, Sofia Mavroidi-Papadaki is a poet.
Her work is inspired by the struggles of the Greek people, her love for mankind and the modern problems of life.
An optimistic and striving realism, aiming for peace and happiness for all of humanity, characterizes her poetry.
Many of her poems have been set to music and are sung by the Greek people; others have been anthologized in Greek and foreign anthologies and they have been translated into French, English and other European languages.
The poem “Empros Ellas” [“Forwards Greece”] was written in April 1944 and was approved as the anthem of ELAS, the music was written by Nikos Tsakonas, who also set to music the poems “Antartopoules” [“Girls of the Resistance”] and “Thrinos” [“Mourning”].
An unknown musician set “Ergetirio” [“Waking Call”] to music.
“Irinikos” [“Peaceful”] was set to music by Mikis Theodorakis and “Niata” [“Youth”] by Foivos Anagnostakis.
The poem was sung as an anthem for EPON, was sent all over Greece and was heard in seven different adaptations.
Sofia Mavroidi-Papadaki’s archive is preserved in whole and is kept by the Greek association of historical and literary archives (ELIA).
Her published works are:

Poetic collections :

1. “Ores Agapis” [“Hours of Love”], Flamma Publications, 1934.
2. “Tis Niotis kai tis Leuterias” [“Of Youth and Freedom”], “Nea Vivlia” [“New Books”] Publications, 1946.
«Themelio Publications» [“Foundation Publications”] published the collection a year following her death.
3. “Louloudi tis Tefras” [“Flower of the ashes”], Mavridis publications, 1966.
4. “Arate Pilas” [“Open the Gates”] ELIA Publications, 1991.

Literature :

1. “To paramithi tou Olumpou” [“The story of Olympus”], Loukatos Publications 1943.
2. “Atalanti, I neraida tou dasous” [“Atalanti, the fairy of the forest”], Pexlivanidis Publications, 1957.
3. “O Aleksandros kai I Gorgona” [“Alexander and the Mermaid”], Historical novel. Year of publication 1959.
4. “Tzavellas, I psysi tou Souliou” [“Tzavellas, the soul of Soulio”]. Historical novel. Publication by “Politikes ke Logotexnikes Ekdoseis” [“Political and Literature Publications”] 1961.
5. “To lalima tis kampanas” [“The bell’s toll”] Naration. Publication by “Pediki Vivliothiki” [“The Children’s’ Library”] P.L.E, 1965.
6. “Istories apo to Byzantio” [“Stories from Byzantio”], “Three Volumes” Pexlivanidis Publications, 1969-1970.
7. “Alkisti, I vasilissa pou nikise to thanato” [“Alkisti, the queen that beat death”], Alkeos publications 1973. Published by Konstantinou Publications after her death.
8. “Mithi kai thrili tis Romis” [“Myths and legends of Rome”], published after her death and includes a series of publications in magazines.
9. “O mikros periigitis” [“The little wanderer”] (three volumes).
Published as a series in P.Dimitrakos’s magazine “Ellinopoulo” [“Greek youth”] in the first postwar years. Kastaniotis Publications 1981.

Theatrical plays :

1. “Elliniko sholiko theatro” [“Greek school theater”], Publications “Thisauri Gnoseon” [“Treasures of Knowledge”], 1959. It includes 33 plays for children’s theatre.

Foreign literature translations :

1. “The man of property” John Galsworthy, year of publication 1947.
2. “Rebecca” Daphne du Maurier, year of publication 1947.
3. “Hard times”, Charles Dickens, year of publication 1952.
4. “The Pastures of Heaven” John Steinbeck, year of publication 1932.
5. “The Maison Tellier”, Guy de Maupassant, year of publication 1953.

Translations of theatrical plays :

1. “The Cocktail Party” by T.S. Elliot, year of publications 1968.
Staged in 1970 by the theatre of Elsa Vergi.
2. “The Vikings at Helgeland” by Henrik Ibsen, year of publication 1972.
Staged in 1973 by the theater of Elsa Vergi.

Translation : Kiki Bardaki-Papoutsaki.