Poetic words

Ж. Әбдіғани, Т. Серікбол, А. Сакенұлы, А. Қосжанова


«Тұран» Университеті, Гуманитарлы-заң кафедрасы


This paper examines the profound significance and contemporary relevance of the poetic word in the realm of language and literature. In an era of rapid information exchange and brevity, this study examines the enduring impact of words beyond mere communication. The aim of the study is to reveal the enduring appeal of poetic words, their ability to evoke emotions and their universality in different linguistic contexts. By examining the history, evolution, and cultural impact of these words, the study sheds light on their ability to unite people, inspire creativity, and provide a deeper understanding of the human experience. Through a comprehensive study of context, we learn how these words continue to shape the literary and emotional landscape of our modern world. The subject of this study is the use of poetic words and their ability to transcend literal meanings and resonate in various forms of creative expression.

Key words: poetic words, meaning, vocabulary, poem, word semantics, attributes.

Words are the raw material for self-expression, the building blocks for communication. They serve as a bridge between our inner thoughts and the outside world. However, there is a subset of words that transcend the ordinary, elevating language to the rank of art. These are poetic words, gems of the lexicon that are prized for their ability to convey complex emotions, vivid images, and profound truths. Poetic words are not just a means of communication, they are vessels of human experience, carrying the weight of centuries of emotions, experiences and stories. They have the unique ability to evoke feelings and paint pictures through syllables, rhythms and connotations.

Any poetic text is meta-subjective, it includes knowledge of history, culture of the countries and peoples of the studied language, knowledge of the peculiarities of the language itself (grammatical, phonetic, etc.). Therefore, when learning a language it is possible to consider and discuss a topic from any field of knowledge, sphere of life and this is an advantage. Every poet puts into his work some meaning and content, which cannot but be reflected in his own culture and the culture of his people. As noted by literary researchers, even in the smallest, childish and purely linguistic poems there is a cultural component, be it names or everyday objects and circumstances [1]. Reading and studying such works, the pupil penetrates the foreign culture through the language, learns about its peculiarities and components. Such experience is necessary for learning any foreign language, as it is impossible to master a language without knowing about those who use it and the places where it is used.

The fact that the text of a poetic work contains a huge amount of vocabulary, or, in other words, words in a foreign language necessary for memorisation, is not disputable. The study of such poetic words certainly expands the vocabulary of pupils, because, not knowing this or that word, the pupil makes a kind of research, finding it in the dictionary, at the same time, perhaps, learning the etymology of the word and the possibilities of its use in various contexts and phrases. As it is known, for example, in English language there is a huge number of words, including synonyms and for fluency in the language it is necessary to know all possible variants for translation of one and the same word, which can be found in poetry, as poetic language is richer than prose language.

The most effective way of mastering a language skill is its direct use and functioning in foreign speech, in this case, in a foreign text. It is in the context, in the coherent structure of the language that a rule is learnt automatically, almost subconsciously consolidated when studying various kinds of texts and, above all, poetic texts. Pupils «absorb» regularities, ways and possibilities of functioning of language structures by reading and, sometimes, memorising language structures presented in written form and reproducing them orally. At the same time, the most important thing is the necessity of selecting and selecting material that corresponds to the particular topic, pace and facets of the learning taking place at the moment. That is, the text should not only be relevant, interesting and informative, but also understandable and should correspond to the level of language acquisition. The poetic text should present the lexico-grammatical structures that have already been learnt and those that are yet to be learnt within the framework of the educational institution’s work programme. Thus, when analysing poetic texts it is necessary to pay attention to the following features:

— the role of the poetic word in a poetic text, its function;

— rhythmic organisation of a poetic work;

— the use of vertical rows of words in the text;

— peculiarity of the function of the key word.

The poetic text is an artistic and aesthetic phenomenon in which the norms of other speech genres are often distorted or transformed. The leading property of the poetic word is, in our opinion, the ambiguity of its interpretation, which results from a variety of pragmatic shades inherent in each of the semantic and syntactic means used by the author in the work.

Reading poetic texts, parsing and analysing words is also an integral part of productive language learning. Reading promotes the memorisation of vocabulary and all kinds of means of expression. Involuntary attention is formed through constant reading, repetition of poetic words in texts, and constant correction of misreading. Therefore, a poetic text becomes indispensable in terms of forming the skill of reading, as repetition is part of the stylistics of poetry. Involuntary memorisation occurs due to the fact that a specially selected poetic text contains certain rules, certain vocabulary and the pupil’s attention is concentrated on them intentionally. That is, if the teacher methodologically chooses the right poems, the memorisation will be directed in the necessary direction.

Thus, at the level of word semantics, the peculiarities of a poetic text are first of all manifested in the actualisation or increment of optional semantic features — associative semes. At the level of paradigmatic relations polysemy and synonymy are clearly manifested. The poetic text can also be considered in terms of semantic field theory. All semantic components of a poetic text are components of figurative meaning. The poetic text obeys all the rules of artistic language. However, it is subject to new, additional to the language, restrictions:

— the requirement to observe certain metrical and rhythmic norms;

— organisation at the phonological, rhyme, lexical and ideological-compositional levels.

All this makes a poetic text much more «unfree» than ordinary spoken speech. It would seem that imposing such restrictions on language should lead to a decrease in the informativeness of texts of this type, but, contrary to the main provisions of information theory, the informativeness of the text in poetry increases due to the fact that:

— any elements of the linguistic level can be elevated to the rank of meaningful;

— any elements that are formal in language can acquire a semantic character in poetry, receiving additional meanings.

P. Anderson calls the possibility of such semantic unity «the tightness of the verse series» [2]. The lexical meaning of words within a verse leads to the appearance of super meanings of neighbouring words, impossible outside the given verse context, which often leads to the allocation of dominant semantic centres in the verse, and thus the verse is both a sequence of words and poetic words, the meaning of which is by no means equal to the mechanical sum of the meanings of the components of its lexico-grammatical meaning. R.B. Davis in his work distinguishes two statuses of the poetic word:

— the word of language proper;

— a poetic word (a word in a poem), included in a more extensive system than in a «simple» artistic text, which itself is only partially realised in a given text [3].

Based on the above-mentioned features of the poetic word, we can conclude that the poetic text is a special structure where insignificant units can acquire semantic load, and meaningful units can expand their semantics, thus endowing the poetic text with greater informativeness. Speaking about the lexical meaning of a word represented in the text, we cannot but refer to the structure of meaning. Along with the essential obligatory semes, the necessity to consider non-essential features, called in different ways: associative semes, or in other terminology — potential semantic features, is noted. The selection of these features is extremely important because they serve most often for the development of polysemousness and are the basis for various metaphorical and metonymic transfers. Emphasising the role of associative semes in the composition of lexical meaning, we come to the conclusion that associative semes are the key means for creating an image in a poetic word.

In addition, poetic words are universal. They can be used in a variety of contexts and yet do not lose their appealing power. Whether it is a love letter, a poem about nature, a philosophical treatise or a simple conversation, these words elevate language and turn it into a conduit of emotion and meaning. Thus the mentality of romanticism is also reflected in the peculiarities of connotation of traditional-poetic lexicon (words) and phraseology, which includes the following components:

— cultural component, as traditional-poetic lexicon and phraseology correlate with mythologemes, stereotypes, archetypes and are associated with the artistic direction — romanticism;

— the style component, indicating the tradition of using the corresponding lexis and phraseology in the sphere of lyric poetry, representing a stable set of regularly reproduced units of a special style, called «poetic», «embellished», «elegiac»;

— figurative component, which is determined by the fact that the absolute majority of the composition are units that appear in figurative meanings, for example: thunderstorm, storm – «life hardships», road, path – «life», spring, dawn – «youth», extinguish – «die», etc.;

— emotional-expressive component. Poetic words express a special kind of evaluation, the strength of manifestation of feelings and experiences, for example: the golden time – «youth», blossom soul – «become joyful, lively» and others.

Basically, poetic words contain expressive (lyrical and elegiac) components connected with the ideas of «sweetness, tenderness, plasticity, musicality». Poetry has an amazing ability to unite people of different cultures and languages. Poetic words can evoke universal feelings that are understandable to everyone, regardless of their origin or language. The emotions expressed in poetry can be universal, and therefore they penetrate to the very depth of the reader’s soul. In poetry we can find the expression of love, passion, grief, joy, disappointment and hope [4]. These human feelings remain unchanged through centuries and generations. Poetic words seem to connect us with all the people who have ever lived on this planet. Thus, for example, the «flavor», «imprint» of poeticism as an element of meaning is represented in the semantic structure of a linguistic unit in the form of stylistic colouring (book artistic and poetic, including in its cluster connection with the emotional-evaluative component of importance and genre components — lyrical marking), as well as in the form of special thematically determined semes of its subject-logical core and connotations correlating this unit with stable national-cultural contexts, specific widely known texts. A necessary and sufficient sign of poeticism is its artistic and poetic stylistic colouring, i.e. its distinct traditional correlation with the socio-cultural context of poetic composition — the generally available poetic discourse and the typical communicative role of the writer. These are, in particular, lexical and phraseological markers of poeticism: boundless, silence, wandering, past, gaze, veriges, again, marvellous, countenance, unforgettable, pilgrim, for a moment, the darkness has thickened, a series of coming days, etc.

Actualisation of stylistic colouring as the main semantic component of poeticism can be found, for example, in the constructions: «she has not a look, but a gaze», «we talked not about the past, but about the past», «the day was not amazing, but marvelous». The other features in the semantic structure of poetic words are additional, reinforcing its status. We are talking about the presence of specific semes in the denotative and cognitive core of poetisms, characterising thematic constants of poetry, about their connotative semantics, as well as about the cluster interaction of stylistic colouring of poetic words with its other types [5].

It should be noted that stylistically neutral representatives of poetic concepts-symbols, being included in a poetic context, can be recognised as signs of the poetic. In this case, when the semeem «about the eternal, metaphysical» is actualised, there are grounds to consider them as lexical-semantic variants with poetic stylistic colouring: «the moon in the sky is getting brighter», «i hide my hands in my pockets from the wind». This semantics will be even stronger when prosodic and phonetic poetic words — signs of poetic size and rhyme — are included.

At the same time, poetic words, along with any other and differently stylistically marked linguistic means, can be successfully used by the language of verbal art proper (poetic language as a functional semiotic system — a special system of tactics, operations and techniques of working with words), which is not limited in principle in the choice of material, subordinating any linguistic means to the solution of aesthetic problems. Nevertheless, words themselves do not create poetry and cannot even be considered its obligatory sign. This makes them, first of all, the subject of the theory of literary language, reflecting the general cultural consciousness of speakers, and, as a consequence, one of the possible subjects of poetics.

In conclusion, poetic words are not just a combination of letters and sounds. It is a linguistic art in which each word is like a stone in a mosaic, contributing to the overall picture. Poetry provides a unique opportunity to express your feelings, emotions and thoughts in the most effective and heartfelt way. Poetic words can be as simple and direct as they are complex and metaphorical. They can reproduce the sounds of nature, the colours of feelings, the sincerity of the human soul.


1. Johnson M.A. (2019). The Aesthetics of Poetic Language // Literary Studies Journal, 40(2), 123-140.

2. Anderson P. (2018). Language and Emotion: Exploring the Evocative Nature of Poetic Words // Journal of Language and Literature, 12(4), 432-449.

3. Davis R.B. (2016). The Eloquent Language of Poetry: An Exploration of Poetic Words in Romantic Literature // Journal of Literary Studies, 17(1), 35-50.

4. Brown L.R. (2020). Unveiling the Beauty of Poetic Words // Poetry Review, 25(3), 56-71.

5. Martinez E. (2021). The Relevance of Poetic Words in Contemporary Literary Discourse // Contemporary Literature Review, 30(3), 267-283.