Gardina Margaretha Gerhardt was born near Rotterdam and attended the Erasmus Gymnasium, where the poet J.H. (Jan Hendrik) Leopold taught classics. She attended universities in Leiden and Utrecht. In 1942 she produced a translation of De Rerum Natura by the Roman poet Lucretius for her degree. Gerhardt worked as a teacher of classical languages and became one of the most important Dutch poets of the 20th century. Her rhetorical style was closely aligned with the rich imagery of nature. Her first collection of verse, Kosmos, was published in 1940. Together with her friend M.H. (Marie Helene) van der Zeyde, Gerhardt translated the Bibilical Psalms from ancient Hebrew into Dutch in 1972. Her late works included De zomen van het licht ("Seams of Light") (1983) and De adelaarsvarens ("The Bracken") (1988).