An Interview with Eileen Cleary, "FDR"


Can you discuss the meaning of the title FDR?

The title "FDR" is meant to be mysterious.

You're on a deserted island with only one poem.  Which one is it and why?

If forced to have only one poem, it would be Leda and The Swan by Yeats. This is one of the finest sonnets. The first stanza percusses as if the wings of the swan were beating. It has both aesthetic beauty technical expertise. Yeats manages a masterful use of rhetoric to open his readers to the story and beautiful imagery to ensure that they remember it.

Who has been influential in your development as a poet?

My Introduction to Literature teacher, Chris Cormier Hayes, was important to me as a poet because she is the first person who believed that I could write seriously. She suffered through about a hundred poems of a raw amateur, finding something in each one of them to like.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I am inspired by life in all its beauty and suffering.

Would you rather have the power of invisibility or the power of flight. Why?

Since I don’t think I could carry others along with me in my flight, I would choose invisibility. Invisibility would come in handy for subterfuge, although I’m afraid someone might accidentally hurt me or bump into me. I probably would laugh or make a noise tipping people off to the ruse. However, invisibility would allow me to fly for free.