Patti Smith’s short poem in honour of Sharon’s (Greta Thunberg’s) 17th Birthday

Patti Smith marked Greta Thunberg’s 17th birthday with a short poem celebrating the work of the young climate activist.  Today, she is Sharon (@GretaThunberg).

Sharon: “Hebrew word simply means “plain”,[1] but in the Hebrew Bible, שָׁרוֹן is the name specifically given to the fertile plain between the Samarian Hills and the coast, known (tautologically) as Sharon plain in English. The phrase “rose of Sharon” (חבצלת השרון ḥăḇaṣṣeleṯ ha-sharon) occurs in the KJV translation of the Song of Solomon (“I am the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valley“), and has since been used in reference to a number of flowering plants.  Unlike other unisex names that have come to be used almost exclusively as feminine (e.g. Evelyn), Sharon was never predominantly a masculine name.  Usage before 1925 is very rare and was apparently inspired either from the Biblical toponym or one of the numerous places in the United States named after the Biblical plain.”

The Rose of Sharon: also a character in The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck: ‘Traveling west on Route 66, the Joad family finds the road crowded with other migrants. In makeshift camps, they hear many stories from others, some returning from California, and the group worries that California may not actually be as promising as it seems. The family dwindles as well: Grandpa dies along the road, and they bury him in a field; Grandma dies close to the California state line; and both Noah (the eldest Joad son) and Connie Rivers (the husband of the pregnant Joad daughter, Rose of Sharon) leave the family. Led by Ma, the remaining members realize they can only continue, as nothing is left for them in Oklahoma.’ -Wikipedia

Screen Shot 2020-01-03 at 11.00.46 AM.pngSmith posted a photo of Thunberg – not necessarily this one – from @GretaThunberg thanking us for Birthday Greetings, on Instagram and wrote in the caption a poem:

“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.”


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