Spotlight: François Mauld d’Aymée

Young artist-poet François Mauld d’Aymée hails from France, but has come far from his origins to produce a distinctive and unique form of literary art which reflects a range of things which he finds beautiful about life. Currently based in London, we caught up to quiz him on his ‘Caligrammes’, art and everything else…


FAULT: Tell us a bit about your background. How did you find yourself inclined towards literature?

François: I’m a humble countryside farmer’s son born deep down in the abandoned heart of Champagne. I left home when sixteen, in a thirsty search for adventure which brought me to enlist for an officers course in the Army… Done with dreams of cavalry charges, chivalry and all of that, I resigned and started up a brand new life, which is where I’m at. Words and music notes have replaced swords, runs in the open and iron helmets.

The more I was losing hope in the physical world, the more I turned towards literature and other forms of art. Whatever the society turns into, the beauty and greatness of words and writings remains intact. And I love beauty and greatness.


FAULT: You have chosen to represent your poems in the form of caligrammes.How important do you think this style is in helping the reader to understand the poetry? What is your intention in choosing this form of writing?

François: I want to charm and attract the reader. The visual aspect is essential. One doesn’t need to read everything. From afar, to me it is like a big cloud, a big milky way of words drifting on a shaped galaxy, from which you pick stars whenever you feel like. I want the reader to build his own understanding from what he took. Unlike the boring poetry which is a dead genre (who buys 5 poetry books a year ?) it is not just lines one after the other.

If you like it just from seeing the picture, you still make me happy. I don’t ask for more. On the other hand, I’ve strived to conceive something deep, rich and elaborate. Find your way through the maze, and you see concealed treasures of romance. It offers more than poetry. It’s freedom.


FAULT: There is so much rich, natural imagery in your works. What does this imagery evoke for you? A special memory, or place? How has it appeared as such a strong theme?

François: I let the imagination have no boundaries, like I would leave open the meadows’ gates and leave myself to ramble there, free of any guidance. For three of the four works featured here, it led me to natural imagery as a perfect match for female facial beauty, like conquistadores would tell their stories of the New World. Like they spoke about rivers of gold, like a natural blonde hair is a true river of gold.


FAULT: Finally, what are your aspirations for the future? Can you see yourself pursuing the life of an artist and/or a poet?

François: Well ! Main thing for me is to get ready for conservatory auditions late this year. I’m learning lyrical singing and I want to start a serious course in London, and become an opera singer after that. Alongside that, I will gladly pursue the life of an artist poet.


FAULT: What is your FAULT?

François: I like going to tuning contests and tractor exhibitions.


See a selection of  François’ poetry in English here: