Elle a sorti un nouveau recueil de poèmes.

Elle a sorti un nouveau recueil de poèmes.

ay lah sor-tee uh noo-voh ruh-kuh-yuh duh poh-EMM. Click below to hear this. 

She has brought out a new collection of poems.

This post is about my friend Shaindel Beers. She is an insightful writer who draws deep on her amazing imagination, and who has the gift of helping other writers and would-be writers do likewise. She teaches creative writing and literature in Pendleton, Oregon.

Even as we speak (well, even as I write), Shaindel is editing the manuscript for her second collection of poems. It’s not published yet, but I had to use the past tense in today’s phrase so I could make the grammar point I have in mind.

You see that verb sortir up there at the top of the page? If you want to say She went out, you say Elle est sortie. The auxiliary (“helping”) verb is être, so you have to make the past participle agree with the person who is going out: she. That accounts for the e on the end.

But if, like Shaindel, you are bringing or taking something or someone out–the recycling to the blue bin, that  the toddler to the park, the dog for a run, or a book of poetry to market, you don’t use être. You use avoir, and in that case, there’s no agreement, much as the dog or the baby may not agree with you. At least poems and recycled materials neither cry nor bark. Most of the time.

And un recueil is a collection–not of stamps, books, owl-shaped bookends, or keyrings, but of writings in a book. More about that word next time.

And if you are more interested in Shaindel’s poems than in French today, I won’t complain. She’s worth it. Here’s a link to her website: http://www.shaindelbeers.com.

Alternative audio file link: elle-a-sorti-un-nouveau-receuil-de-poemes

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