Donald Gardner

Donald Gardner
Donald Gardner

London-born Donald Gardner lived in Italy and New York during the 1960s where he read with poets such as Ginsberg and Corso. Since 1980 he has lived in the Netherlands. In the 1980s he made several one-man performances – movement theatre where he was the actor of his own poetry. He is a poet and poetry translator (Remco Campert, Octavio Paz) and his books include ‘The Glittering Sea’ (Hearing Eye, 2006) and, recently, ‘The Wolf Inside’ (Hearing Eye, 2014). The title poem of ‘The Glittering Sea’ was described in Ambit as “one of the best poems to have been written about 9/11”. Of ‘The Wolf Inside’, Anthony Howell writes (The Fortnightly Review): ‘Every word counts, but Gardner camouflages his thriftiness in dry wit ….’ This is poetry that works both on the page and read out loud. His website is:


Kept Alive by Modern Medicine

The idea of explaining oneself to the young,
telling them how much better things were when we were young.
How we revelled in our youth.

How we could teach the young to be young.
Sketch out a few dance steps to show them what we mean,
what it was to be young in the nineteen sixties.

How being young
will never be the same again.
How we drank youth to the full,
never wasting a moment.
Or if we did, we wasted it to the full,
blind, ruinously.

Did we blow it or swing it?
Same difference.

Look folks, we blew it completely,
the grand gesture.
Not like you lot, barely out of college
saving for your retirement.

How we’re not shy to say it
now we’re old fogeys.
Fogeys of freedom,
no obvious usefulness.

After us not the deluge
but a cold douche.

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