Tag Archives: Street of Straw

Straw Haiku


caroling scholars

enliven the Street of Straw


Today’s prompt on the wonderful blog carpe diem haiku kai is “straw.”  My inner eye skittered away to 13th Century Paris, and the birth of its famous University.  The school was first located on the Rue de l’Ecole which quickly came to be known as the Rue de Fouarre, or the Street of Straw. It is even mentioned in Dante’s Paradiso, X.  The name might have alluded to the straw market that was in the neighborhood.  The explanation I have always enjoyed, however, points to the fact that the only person with a chair in a Medieval classroom was the professor.  The students would sit in the unheated room shivering on straw scattered about the floor.  It is no wonder they so enjoyed whooping it up as they are doing in the above manuscript illumination.

Let me take this opportunity to thank Chèvrefeuille, the host of carpe diem haiku kai, for the care and effort he so generously shares with lovers of haiku.  He has been especially kind and encouraging to this beginner, and it is a pleasure to express my gratitude.