AN Ex-King Speaks

AN Ex-King Speaks


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



I speak . . . the shadows lengthen. / May the years of carnage and pain

Known on the plains of Verdun / May never know man again.



Books by Marcus Bruce Christian

Song of the Black Valiants: Marching Tempo / High Ground: A Collection of Poems  / Negro soldiers in the Battle of New Orleans

I am New Orleans: A Poem / Negro Iron Workers of Louisiana: 1718-1900 /  The Liberty Monument

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An Ex-King Speaks

Twenty years after the Battle of Verdun


By Marcus B. Christian











I speak tonight from Verdun



Where the bones of dead horses lie;

Breaking the years of silence,

I give this warning cry.


I speak tonight from Verdun

And the wraiths of the radiant dead

Rise at the call of battle

And gather about my head.


I speak the shadows beckon,

And misery grows apace;

I cry for peace and safety

In terms of the human race.


I speak tonight from Verdun

That terrors of war may cease;

Let there be understanding

Harmony, love, and peace.


I speak . . . the shadows lengthen.

May the years of carnage and pain

Known on the plains of Verdun

May never know man again.


I speak — an aging soldier —

That carnage and madness and pain

Met on the fields of Verdun

May never know man again.


Only the powers of evil

Will win in the war-to-be;

Chaos and anarchy only

Will taste of that victory.

May 8, 1939

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Marcus Christian remembers Selassie I in verse.

Christian expresses what Selassie I meant to Black People around the world, especially during the  turbulent 1930s.

The above poem was last published in I AM NEW ORLEANS & OTHER POEMS  by Marcus B. Christian (1999) edited by Rudolph Lewis and Amin Sharif.

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Selassie I in usa 1  /  Selassie I in usa 2

Previous   Next

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Selected Letters  Selected Diary Notes

Memories of Marcus B. Christian (CainsChristian’s BioBibliographical Record    Introduction to I AM NEW ORLEANS 

A Theory of a Black Aesthetic   Magpies, Goddesses, & Black Male Identity

Activist Works on Next Level of Change   Intro to I Am New Orleans   Letter from Dillard University

A Labor of Genuine Love  Letter of Gift of Photos   Letters from LSU and Skip Gates

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Negro Iron Workers of Louisiana: 1718-1900

By Marcus Bruce Christian


Study of the blacksmith tradition and New Orleans famous lace balconies and fences.

Acclaimed during his life as the unofficial poet laureate of the New Orleans African-American community, Marcus Christian recorded a distinguished career as historian, journalist, and literary scholar. He was a contributor to Pelican’s Gumbo Ya Ya, and also wrote many articles that appeared in numerous newspapers, journals, and general-interest publications.

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Audio: My Story, My Song (Featuring blues guitarist Walter Wolfman Washington)

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery /

George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

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updated 28 March 2010



  Home   Selection of Poems Marcus Bruce Christian

Related files: Selassie at Geneva   An Ex-King Speaks  Drums of Menelik  Tafari Makonnen–Haile Selassie

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