The Grolier Poetry Bookstore 6 Plympton St. Cambridge MA 617-547-4648
I used to read poetry to my children when they were young, lines like….Little Orphan Annie came to our house to stay, to wash the cups and saucers and sweep the crumbs away or…. They’re changing the guard at Buckingham Palace, said Christopher to Alice. Poems about Lincoln and battles and always Longfellow’s, The Children’s Hour.
I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.
And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!
“The Grolier” is an independent bookstore on Plympton Street near Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Its focus today is solely poetry. A small one-room store, it lays claim to being the “oldest continuous bookshop” devoted solely to the sale of poetry and poetry criticism. The Grolier Book Shop was founded in September 1927 by Adrian Gambet and Gordon Cairnie. Louisa Solano purchased and took over its operation in 1974 after Cairnie’s death. The Grolier Book Shop became the Grolier Poetry Book Shop, Inc. in 1990. One of my favorite poets, Anais Nin, visited the store. In April 2006 Ms. Solano sold the Grolier Book Shop to Ifeanyi Menkiti, poet, and professor of philosophy at Wellesley College.
The Grolier continues to advance the cause of poetry, expanding on the foundation laid by the previous owners. Part of the store’s mission is to develop further interest in poetry among a wider more diversified audience. Through the sale of poetry books and the organization of poetry events, The Grolier promotes the written and spoken art of poetry and continues to create a nourishing environment for the works of poets. I love poetry and find it a balm for the soul. I’m not sure if my tastes fit with today’s poets and readings, but I am grateful that Grolier’s is holding down the fort when it comes to the genre of poetry.
And then the day came,
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk