Patti Smith praises environmental activist Greta Thunberg while criticising Donald Trump
(Credit: Anders Hellberg / David Shankbone)

Patti Smith celebrates Greta Thunberg’s 17th birthday with a heartfelt poem

The Godmother of Punk, Patti Smith celebrated the 17th birthday of environmental activist Greta Thunberg with a poem dedicated to Time’s Person of the Year.

A long-time supporter of Greta Thunberg’s outspoke views on climate change, Patti Smith took to her Instagram account to share a poem the singer had written for Thunberg on her birthday.

Smith posted an image of Thunberg with a caption which read: “This is/Greta Thunberg, turning/seventeen today, asking/for no accolade, no gifts,/save we not be neutral./ The Earth knows its kind,/ just as all deities, just as/animals and the healing/spring. Happy birthday/to Greta, who stood today,/as every Friday, refusing/ to be neutral.”

Thunberg, who began her life in activism at the age of 15 when she stood alone during school time, outside the Swedish parliament, holding a handmade sign which read ‘Skolstrejk för klimatet’ which translates as ‘School strike for the climate’.

From that moment on, Thunberg’s meteoric rise to fame has been unprecedented. After fronting an international school climate change strike, the teenager has gone on to address world leaders at United Nations Climate Change Summits, be nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize and, incredibly, she was featured on the cover of Time magazine who, in turn, named her a “next generation leader”.

You can find Patti Smith’s heartfelt poem of thanks to Greta Thunberg below:

Smith isn’t the only artist to support Thunberg’s work promoting climate change awareness. Bjork, The 1975, and more have pledged their thanks to Greta, though not all rock stars are as convinced. Today, we brought you the story of Meat Loaf who labelled Thunberg as “brainwashed” and denied climate change altogether.

Find the full story here.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Delivering curated content