A genre created by Tao Yuanming of the Eastern Jin Dynasty, idyllic poetry depicts rural life and scenery. Taking country life as his favored theme, Tao Yuanming used plain language to portray rural scenes. His poems were unpretentious, refreshing, and natural, thus creating a far-reaching aesthetic conception and a lasting charm. Idyllic poetry represented a new stage in classical Chinese poetry and shaped poetic development in the Six Dynasties period and beyond.
Xie Lingyun’s poems are profound in implication, but focused excessively on mountain and water scenes, while Tao Yuanming’s poems are graceful and simple, depicting mainly rural scenes. (Bai Juyi: Letter to Yuan Zhen)