|Birthname||Ida Gardina Margaretha Gerhardt|
|born on||11 May 1905 at 03:00 (= 03:00 AM )|
|Place||Gorinchem, Netherlands, 51n50, 4e58|
|Timezone||LST m4e53 (is standard time)|
|Astrology data||19°44' 05°03 Asc. 08°00'|
Dutch classicist, poet in the post-symbolist tradition and translator of Latin and Hebrew poetry.
Ida Gerhardt was the second of the three surviving children of the Dutch Reformed school director Dirk Reinier Gerhardt (24 december 1871, Tarnow -2 July 1953, Voorschoten) and Ida "Grietje" Blankenvoort (22 December 1873, Monnikendam - 23 December 1934), a housewife. They married 12 May 1898 at Heemstede and got three daughters and and an on his birthday dying son: Truus, a poet (1899-1960), the early dying lost son Everardus (1901), Ida (1912-1997) and Mia "Marie"(1918-1988).
Before Ida (called "Zus", sister) was born, there had been a brother Everardus (1901), who only lived for one day. His death traumatised her mother, who raised Ida with a rigid and hard hand. Ida got feelings of inferiority, as she felt that her mother idealised her five years elder sister and she could not compete with her mother's idealised lost son. Ida on the other hand idealised her mild and kind father, who like her was a scholar. Ida and her sister Truus liked to read in silence, but were often disturbed in it by their anxious mother.
In 1916, Ida visited the Erasmus Gymnasium at Rotterdam, where she met the poet and classicist J.H. Leopold (Dbnl), who was her teacher Greek from 1920 till 1923. She idealised Leopold and was also mirrored by him, as he recognised her extreme intellectual giftedness. Here she also met her later female partner for life Marie van der Zeyde. Though Ida was very intelligent, she sacked in the fist class (1917), most likely because of emotional problems related to her not at all supporting, maybe even envying her, anxious mother.
In 1923 her family moved from Rotterdam to Wassenaar. Inspired by Leopold, she studied classical languages at Leiden University in 1924. She had a room for her self in the Hogewoerd at Leiden and became a member of the "Vereeniging van Vrouwelijke Studenten" (VVSL) at Rapenburg 65, Leiden. Here she felt at home and today one can still find a text from her via the art work of Jaqueline Ravelli: "Hier was het: ons huis onze tuin onze staat/ En ons werk. Dat onvervaard verder gaat." (Here it was: our house, our garden, our state / And our work. That steadily moves on). Time steadily going on, developing its own ways, like a slow streaming Lowlands river, would become the major theme in her metrical classical work.
In 1924 her mother went suicidal and had to be admitted into a psychiatric hospital. Ida loved Leiden, but after a quarrel with her family, she was denied the access to her parental house and was forced to go to Utrecht University, this time not supported by her parents, but by her brother-in-law via Truus Sidney van den Bergh. she preferred to stay in Leiden, where the study Classical languages was more literate, but in Utrecht she met her life of school friend Marie Helene van der Zeyde again, who studied there Dutch letters.
On 6 July 1933 she got her exam, but because there was an economical crisis she could not get a paid job as a classical teacher. Because of poverty, she nearly starved to death and got a double pleurisy. In august 1934 she was hospitalised in her parental house, that once rejected her. On 23 December 1934 her mother died. She felt somehow liberated by it.
In 1935 her sister Truus published the poetry bundle "De engel met de zonnewijzer." (The angle with the sundial). Ida debuted on 27 June 1936 with the poem "Kinderspel" (A piece of cake, Child play) in the Magazine "Tijd en Taak" (Time and task). In 1939 she got a job as teacher Classical Languages in the Protestant Theologic University city of Kampen (1929-1951). She published her mystical début poetry bundle "Cosmos" on 9 May 1940. The next day the Germans invaded Holland, so her bundle got little attention. "Ontoereikend is immers de taal" (Language is insufficient) as she once said. But, after the war "Cosmos" was included in the bundle "Het veerhuis" (The ferry-house, 1945) and was awarded with the Van der Hoogtprijs (Dec 1945).
On 2 October 1942 she dissertated cum laude in Utrecht on the translation of books I and V of Lucretius "De rerum natura" (Nature and her forms): "Want een systeem dat u geeft de essentie van hemel en goden/ ga ik ontvouwen – ik zal de principes der dingen verklaren; / waarvandaan de natuur alles schept en voedt en doet groeien, waarin omgekeerd zij de dingen ontbindt en vernietigt." See for an english translation of this sacred poetry: Of the Nature of Things
In 1949 she published her iambic translation of Vergilius poem Georgica as "Het boerenbedrijf". She got the 1969 prestigious Martinis Nijhoff award for it. Around 1950 she wrote letters about astrology to Marie Helene van der Zeyde and looked at her life from an even more distance. Like the eminent Dutch poet and playwright Joost van der Vondel she became a spectator of her own life as were it a Divine Comedy.
In 1951 she moved from Kampen to Bilthoven to work on the "Werkplaats Kindergemeenschap" (working place for children) of the educator Kees Boeke.
In 1955 she published "Het levend monogram" (The living monogram) consisting of four parts dedicated to usall: In memoriam matris, Daemonen, Hoefprent van Pegasus and Het levend monogram." It dealt with her youth trauma of not really being seen.
On 13 August 1960 her as a poet less famous sister Truus Gerhardt died of an intestinal bleeding. Ida dedicated the bundle "De hovenier" (1961, The gardener) to her. Amsterdam awarded Ida with the Poetry prize for it.
In 1963 she early retired as a teacher, after several episodes of mental illness ("surmenage"). The combination of the daily classical languages teaching work, private life events and her work as a poet had exhausted her. She was also hypertensive and suffered a lot from the television noise of her neighbours. With Marie she enjoyed her summer holidays as a teacher in Ireland.
After her forced retirement, she started a new project together with her soulmate Marie van der Zeyde: The study of the Hebrew language to translate the Hebrew Psalms. In 1964 she finished her study Hebrew cum laude. With Marie she became a translator of the Hebrew Psalms into Dutch (1975)
On 3 November 1979 she received the Award for Mastership from the Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde, in 1980 she got as the first female poet the prestigious the P.C. Hooft Award of 1979. After that her collected works of 1980 got every two years a reprint. She became the celebrated poet, Christian readers were searching for.
She kept on publishing as a poet till 1988 (De Adelaarsvarens). That same year she cooperated with the documentary De wording of film maker Cherry Duyns, that was offered to Queen Beatrix, who was also a noted sculptor, for the celebration of her 50th anniversary.
Ida recited from her last bundle "De Adelaarsvarens" (Pteridium aquilinum, bracken, eagle fern): Langzaam opent zich het inzicht / dat een werkelijk vers iets levends / is, van stonde aan een wonder. (Slowly develops the insight, that a real poem is a living entity/ only by being born as an amazing sight).
Since 1956 Ida Gerhardt lived together with the highly gifted Marie Helene van der Zeyde (1906-1990), a grant lady of Letters, poet and translator. Van der Zeyde was noted for her translations of the medieval Hadewych poetry into modern Dutch language (Marie H. van der Zeyde · dbnl). She received her Ph Doctorate on Dutch literature and philosophy on her dissertation on "Hadewych. Een studie over de mens en schrijfster" that she received "cum laude" on 26 January 1934 in Utrecht. She was also like Gerhardt a noted translator of the Hebrew Psalms into the Dutch Willibrord translation of 1975.
It is unclear if the two intellectual women were lesbians, but that they were of great support for each other in an by man dominated world is beyond doubt. Ida Gerhardt wrote poems about the lesbian poet Sappho since 1945 and translated her poetry, but Gerhardt was also very secretive about her personal private life.
After the death of Marie van der Zeyde (9 March 1990), Ida's mental health deteriorated and she got periods of paranoia. In 1992 she had to cared for in the resting home 'Berkelstaete' in Warnsveld. She died 15 August 1997 in Warnsveld.
- associate relationship with Boeke, Kees (born 25 September 1884). Notes: Werkplaats teacher from 1951
- (has as) mentor relationship with Van den Bergh, Sidney J. (born 25 October 1898). Notes: Sister of his 1st spouse Geertruida Gerhardt (1899-1960)
- Relationship : Meet a significant person August 1920 in Rotterdam (J.H. Leopold)
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- Social : End a program of study 6 July 1933 in Utrecht (Classical Letters exam)
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- Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1941 (A translation of 'The Carillon' by the Dutch poet Ida Gerhardt )
- Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 2 October 1942 in Utrecht (Dissertation: Lucretius: De natuur en haar vormen boek i en boek v (Kok, Kampen 1942).)
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- Death, Cause unspecified 15 August 1977 in Warnsveld (15 August 1997, Warnsveld)
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- Work : Prize 3 November 1979 (Award for Mastership)
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Koppejan quotes Municipal Archive for 11 May 1905 at 03:00 AM Gorinchem in Beeldgids van de dierenriem.
Sy Scholfield quotes same data (3 AM) in the biography, "Dwars tegen de keer: leven en werk van Ida Gerhardt" by Mieke Koenen (Singel, 2014).
- Traits : Mind : I.Q. high/ Mensa level
- Diagnoses : Psychological : Psychotic Episode (became paranoid after the death of a mate)
- Family : Childhood : Abuse - Physical/ Verbal (traumatised mother expected her to replace her lost son.)
- Family : Relationship : Married late/never
- Lifestyle : Social Life : Other Social Life (private)
- Passions : Sexuality : Lesbian (LGBT writers in the Dutch-language area)
- Personal : Religion/Spirituality : Metaphysical (Symbolic poet, studying Classical languages and Hebrew to find her meaning of life)
- Vocation : Education : Teacher (Classical languages)
- Vocation : Writers : Poet
- Vocation : Writers : Translator
- Notable : Awards : Other Awards (major Dutch literary awards)
- Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession