Two and a half years ago my professor showed us a utube video of Muhammad Ali’s graduation speech at Harvard. He ended his speech with a new record for the world’s shortest poem. Me. We.
I remember watching the grainy black and white video on the screen in the room and I remember Ali reacting to the yell from the student in the audience…he asked for him to give them a poem and in response Ali pointed both his hands at himself and said, ”Me”. Then, he pointed at the graduating class and said, “We”.
Now, before this I had no idea about Ali’s poetics, politics, beliefs, friends and loyalty. To this day, this amazing person, poem and poet rings true. However, I can no longer find this video anywhere online. It is gone, vanished, erased. Now, some are claiming he was actually saying “Me. Wheee.”, but I remember seeing his hand gestures and I swear they indicated otherwise.
What is happening with truth, reporting and politics? I have now found two videos with George Plimpton describing the same speech, but with different poems….one has Me. We. And the other has Me. Wheee. Neither show that part of the speech. Where has it gone? Why has it been erased? Why NOT We?