I wanted to move right in, on seeing this little gem (and writer's den?)--yesterday morning in the town of Rochegude. More photos after the story column, below. photo © Kristin Espinasse

saisir (say-zeer) verb

  : to capture, to seize

Audio File: Listen to the correct pronunciation of the French word "saisir", and hear the conjugated verb. Mille mercis to my brother-in-law, Jacques, for lending his vocal chords!: Download Saisir Download Saisir

Verb conjugation: SAISIR

je saisis, tu saisis, il saisit, nous saisissons, vous saisissez, ils saisissent => past participle: saisi

Today, we are sharing idioms, expressions, and sayings related to the French word "saisir". Thank you for opening up your dictionary (hardbound or online) and contributing something here*, in the comments box.

In the town of Rochegude, I snake silently along narrow ruelles* flanked by towering French façades. The villagers are waking up, now if only the sun's rays would appear--and just where my camera lens might command them to. I stare at the chipped and broken façades, as one might a newborn: with eternal love and a fierce sense of duty: how much time remains in which to capture their still-charming faces before another bulldozer or careless commerçant* captures them first? I watch helplessly each time a glaring metal poster board is drilled into the side of yet another creaking, cracking cabanon,* covering up an old painted-onto-the-stones sign, one that apparently no longer earns its keep according to the gods of advertising. "Au diable!"* I curse them. Haven't you the heart for these endangered works of art?


I will the sun to come out from behind the clouds, in time to liven the blues and greens in the painted shutters and the reds on the window sills that surround me. As it is, the colors are fade,* perhaps like the early-morning risers beyond the window panes, who'll soon powder their faces bronze--eternal summer in their hearts, though winter camps out on the window sill, weathering the tiles and whittling away at old, charming France.

Comments, corrections--or stories of your own!--always welcome, in the comments box, for all to enjoy:

More topics for discussion: Renovate... or rip down?: where does a culture conscious community draw the line? Share with us some laws that exist to protect France's architectural patrimony. What is most endangered across France's architectural skyline?

~~~~~~~~~~~~French Vocabulary~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
la ruelle
(f) = lane, alley; le/la commerçant(e) = retailer; le cabanon (m) = stone shed, cottage; au diable! = to hell (with them !) ; fade = washed-out (also, tasteless)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Today's Quote~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      L'occasion. Notre seule pouvoir est de la saisir.
     The occasion. Our only power is in seizing it.
--Jean Grenier


I loved the book "French Dirt", and for those who love to write, check out Richard Goodman's new book "The Soul of Creative Writing". See them both, here.

Savon de Marseille/Marseille Soap with Pure Crushed Local Flowers

Watercolor Journeys: Create Your Own Travel Sketchbook

The castle at the top of the village of Rochegude.
Ze little would-be writer's den: colorful even sans soleil.

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