Haiku are admired for their extreme economy and their striking images. What are the central images in each of Bashō's haiku? To what senses do these images appeal?
In another poem, Bashō says that art begins with “The depths of the country / and a rice-planting song.” What do you think he means? How do these four haiku exemplify this idea?
Do you think the conciseness of these poems increases or decreases the impact of their images?
I believe that Basho is referring to the idea that the best literature depends upon a cultural idea. Rooted cultures have history. It is this history which defines a person, a region, and a populace. As for the reference to "song," many poems and literary texts come from deep-rooted customs. Song in culture is about a deep-rooted as one can get. (Think slavery songs and poetry/literature from the African-American literary movement.)
Haiku are short and sweet, and have strong images of nature. The senses are usually visual, but they can appeal to hearing and touch as well. The reader gets a picture when reading them.