I saw Seamus Heaney once
at Grolier’s Bookstore
in Harvard Square, which carried
only poetry. He was
lifting and looking at books
just like I was. I knew who
he was, but had not read
his poetry. It crossed
my mind to ask him if
I could buy a beer for him.
He saw me see him, smiled
said nothing, just went on looking.
I think he left not long after and
I forget if I bought anything or not.
Why didn’t you speak to him?
I asked myself. ‘Cause I was scared
I answered. You could’ve bought one
of his books and asked him to autograph it
then offered to buy him a beer.
I console myself by remembering
that Faulkner went to Paris
to see Joyce, which he did,
eating at a café with Nora and the kids
but he said nothing, was content to
have seen the Master.
Also with how I tried to get
a job there (at Grolier’s) years later
and how the owner
when I told her
I was a poet
jumped up and yelled,
“I don’t hire poets here, get out!”
One thought on “Grolier’s Bookstore by Frank Freeman”
Nice poem! Curious, did the story in this poem actually occur? I live in the Boston area and have been to Grolier’s often.