Years of absence (1934-1949)

Following the end of her collaboration with Kotopouli, Kyveli withdrew from the theatre, obeying the wish of Georgios Papandreou.

She would be absent from the stage for 16 years with only one exception: In 1941, at her daughter Miranda’s troupe with Giorgos Pappas in Spyros Melas’ Piso sti Gi (Back to Earth).

She would follow her husband’s rising political star in Hellenism’s adventures, from political instability to the Pangalos and Metaxas dictatorships and then into the whirlwind of “World War II”.

After several incarcerations and internal exiles, Georgios Papandreou escaped to the Middle East where he became a driving force of the Greek government in exile.

Following the liberation of Greece in 1944, Kyveli travelled extensively in Europe and America due to her younger son’s severe health problems, whose rearing took up increasingly more of her time.

During these difficult times, she also lived through the end of her relationship with Georgios Papandreou.

Having gradually grown apart, their marriage effectively ceased in 1949 although the pair never divorced.

When she felt she could no longer have him exclusively to herself, she left him.

And yet last evening here, in this our last landfall
where we long for the day of our return to dawn
like an old debt, currency that has remained for years
in a miser’s chest until at last
the time of reckoning has come and coins
chink tumbling on the table;
In this Tyrrhenian village, tucked above Salerno and the sea
above the harbours of return, the cusp
of an autumn downpour brought the moon
out from behind the clouds, and then
the houses on the farther slope were all enamel.

Beloved silences of the moon. […]

Last Stop (George Seferis, Cava de’ Tirreni, October 5th, 1944-translated by Roderick Beaton, 2005)