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for Ali

me, we
say, clay.

"me, we" was a 2 word poem that Muhammad Ali delivered to the Harvard graduating class sometime around '72. I have been told that, along with something by Eliot, it is the only two word assemblage recognized as a poem.

6 May 04

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had a little trouble with the title of this one.
 — hank

this is different.. I dont know much about Ali so I dont recognize the sayings much..but I think it'd be a good poem to someone who is a really, dedicated Ali fan.. i dont understand much but it's alright, 7
 — Marksbabe

it's alright that you don't understand?
 — unknown

i meant that maybe the author is trying to get something across and i totally just missed the point .. it doesnt make sense to me because i dont follow Mohammad Ali, but maybe to someone that does it would be good.
 — Marksbabe

*Muhamed Ali* .. sorry bout the mis-spelling, like I said, I dont know much about him lol as i just proved. goodbye
 — Marksbabe

"your hands can't hit what your eyes can't see
float like a butterfly, sting like a bee."

um..don't really know what to make of this, but i think i get your intention. well. all i know about Ali is from the movie..i loved that. sorry my feedback doesn't really do much.
 — wendz

Me, we, say "Clay." as in Cassius Clay, Muhammed Ali's name before he changed it in the 50's. That's what I figured from it. Not sure about anything else though. And It is Muhammed with two m's I'm fairly certain.
 — erielle

it's Muhammad Ali.
 — hank

hank decided to use a small c, we.
 — gnormal

take out the comma between say and clay and i will
thank hank
 — unknown

He talks a lot and boasts indeed,
Of a power punch and blinding speed
 — unknown

"Your hands can't hit what your eyes don't see
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee."
 — unknown

One time i sucked a dick for crack
 — unknown

you may think that ur fighting an opponent, but ur really fighting urself.
 — unknown

mais oui c'est clair
 — kaleidazcope

You don't have to know much about Ali to understand the poem "me, we."  Ali transcended his profession to become a major leader and icon of the second half of the 20th century. Did you know that the FBI and CIA considered him one of the most dangerous people living in the US at the height of his popularity? His poem, given to a predominantly white Harvard graduating class, was an echo of his and many others struggle to live and see a tolerant society. Not a colorless society but a nation of citizens that appreciate diversity and fairness. Me as a part of we, and when said by each individual constructs the framework for confirming the belonging as an equal piece of a whole.

Just my take.
 — unknown

WTF i dont get it
 — unknown

Hey Hanky,
I just got this as a random poem. funny cause i started a threat about this. so i'll say kudos to you for bringing it up long before i did.
 — unknown

I don't know about the poem but Ali was the most magically brilliant fighter i have ever seen. To see the state he is in now brings tears to my eyes.
 — larrylark

bad ass fighter accredited with the smallest poem, zze irony.

is footnote needeD>?

nice poem : )  
 — crepaway

nice poem.
long time...
 — varun

 — unknown

I can understand why you had difficulty with the title. Rule of thumb: clean + simple always works as you well know.
 — unknown

Eli Siegel
His two-word poem, One Question, won recognition as the shortest poem in the English language. It appeared in the Literary Review of the New York Evening Post in 1925:

One Question
I —

I found this one on the net in about one minute - googled famous two word poems
I bet there are more -
 — unknown

I could not find any mention of Ali's poem.  Can you direct me to a URL?
 — unknown



According to George Plimpton, the shortest poem in Bartlett's Quotations is "Antiquarian Microbes" which consists of three words: Adam had 'em.

However, at the conclusion of a speech to Harvard seniors, Muhammed Ali (Cassius Clay) was asked for a poem. His response: "Me we"

Plimpton wrote to Bartlett's and informed them that this should now be listed as the shortest poem. No word on Bartlett's response.

from h's unkn
 — unknown

 — unknown

the title should be:

poetic berevity befits the boxer
 — unknown

Giuseppe Ungaretti's 'Alba':


Depending on how you count it this is either four words or two words long. It is not just recognised as a poem, it is one of the most famous poems in modern Italian literature (you will find it in most anthologies).

It is still much longer than the love poem Yoko Ono wrote to John Lennon in 1972.


1972 was clearly a short year for poems.
 — ferngulley

why 'say, clay'?
I thought that was his long forgotten slave name 'Cassius Clay'...
I mean I like the poetry and sentiment, but Muhammad Ali does not like or recognise the name Clay.

 — unknown