The Mad King of Araucani


My vast kingdom, larger than France and Spain
led a crusade against conquest and genocide,
I did not have birth right, nor did I take it by sword,
my people had choose me to lead them free
of tyranny dispensed by titled saner Kings.
I am The Mad King of Araucani,
mad, because I took it with fiery words
mad, because the subjects choose their rule
I am Orélie-Antoine de Tounens, the king
of Arauconia and Patagonia.

My people the Mapuche have chosen me king,
in an effort to stave off oppression’s bloodshed
and form legitimate constitution and law,
making illegal the European marching
upon my land—but you do not accept me king
and laugh in my face and in the streets at any who’d see
my people as human and not something to bleed.

The coins, the law, the capital and constitution
meant nothing because we were less than human,
my Kingdom a story, my efforts a joke to prod,
so you locked me up and had me declared insane.

The people are not free even to this distant of day
The Condor flies and Pablo gets mustard gas to his veins.


This poem is based on the history of Orélie-Antoine de Tounens. was a French lawyer and adventurer who proclaimed by a decree on 17 November 1860 that Araucanía and Patagonia did not depend of any other states and that a Kingdom of Araucanía was founded with himself as King under the name Orélie-Antoine I. It is disputed whether Tounens was a self-proclaimed king or was elected by some loncos (Mapuche chiefs).  The depute lies in the fact that history is written by the victors, and in this case it was one country with two different people who were pit head to head. The Mapuche lost and history decided this elected king was a mad man. This poem is somewhat important to my other poem about Pablo Neruda

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