指诗文作品所呈现的质朴干枯、平和清淡的艺术风格。枯淡不是枯涩寡味、平庸浅薄，而是指外表看似干枯平淡、内里丰腴醇厚的一种表现手法，旨在用质朴平淡的语言和描写来表现丰富深刻的思想内容，创造出含蓄 深邃、醇厚高远的意境。北宋初期，雕琢华艳的文风盛行，梅尧臣、欧阳修等人倡导诗文革新，标举平淡深邃的风格，认为诗歌的根本在于性情，无需刻意而为。苏轼以陶渊明、柳宗元的诗歌为典范，进一步提出了“枯淡”的 概念。“枯淡”与“平淡”“淡泊”“冲淡”等概念内涵接近，是道家冲和之美与儒家典雅之美的合流。
This refers to a literary style that appears plain and dry, mild and moderate. Here, dry and plain does not mean insipid, dull, common or shallow; rather, it suggests a means of expression that, while appearing prosaic, is rich in substance within. Its aim is to convey, in plain and simple language, a message that is not lacking in breadth or profundity and to create a deep and subtle, rich and far-reaching effect. In the early years of the Northern Song Dynasty, an ornate and sumptuous style prevailed in literature. Men of letters such as Mei Yaochen and Ouyang Xiu argued for literary renewal and endorsed a plain and penetrating style. They held that the essence of poetry lies in authenticity and true feeling and that there was no need to be too rhetorical. With the classical examples of Tao Yuanming’s and Liu Zongyuan’s poetry in mind, Su Shi went on to put forth the notion of “dry plainness.” It comes close in meaning to “calm,” “unassuming,” or “unpretentious” – a convergence of the peaceful and profound beauty of Daoism and the elegant beauty of Confucianism.
- 所贵乎枯淡者，谓其外枯而中膏，似淡而实美，渊明、子厚之流是也。若 中边皆枯淡，亦何足道。 （苏轼《评韩柳诗》） （我之所以看重枯淡，是因为它形似干枯而内里丰腴，看似平淡而实际很美，像陶渊明、柳子厚等人的诗歌就是这样。如果中间、边侧都枯淡，那还有什 么可称道的呢！）
I value the style of dry plainness because it looks withered and dry outside but is rich inside; it appears plain but is in fact beautiful. Poetry by such writers as Tao Yuanming and Liu Zongyuan is like this. If inner and outer were equally dry, why praise it? (Su Shi: A Critique of Poems by Han Yu and Liu Zongyuan)
- 故观之虽若天下之至质，而实天下之至华；虽若天下之至枯，而实天下之 至腴。如彭泽一派，来自天稷者，尚庶几焉，而亦岂能全合哉！ （包恢《答傅当可论诗》） （所以，看起来虽像天下最质朴的，实际上却是天下最华美的；看起来虽像 天下最枯槁的，实际上却是天下最丰腴的。像陶渊明等人的诗歌，自然天 成，大致达到了这种境界，然而也不能完全符合啊！）
Therefore, what seems most plain in the world is in fact the most resplendent, and what seems most dry and withered is in fact the most fruitful. Poems by people like Tao Yuanming and his followers read naturally; they more or less achieved this artistic effect, though not completely! (Bao Hui: Reply to Fu Dangke’s Discussion of Poetry)