Poetic Function

What is the poetic function

The poetic function of language, also known as the aesthetic function, occurs when the discourse has an aesthetic purpose, so that the forms of enunciation acquire a high degree of importance. It is one of the language functions identified by Roman Jackson.

This means that the center of the poetic function is in the form of the message that, rather than depriving it of the content, gives it greater significance and forcefulness.

The various forms of literature are characteristic of the poetic function: the novelthe storythe poetrythe fables, among many others. However, the poetic function is not only recognizable in written or consecrated literature at the academic level.

The popular forms of discourse, framed within certain aesthetic and cultural traditions, also express a poetic function. We can cite the case of popular sayingsthe popular legendsthe tongue twisterthe riddles Y Word games.

From this it follows that within the poetic function, the aesthetic also includes playful elements that promote the enjoyment of language.

In language with a poetic function, the greatest attention is paid to discursive forms, and different forms are applied with special emphasis and care. rhetorical or literary figures. Among some of them we can mention:

  • the metaphor,
  • the simile,
  • the hyperbole,
  • the metonymy,
  • the hyperbaton,
  • the Ellipse,
  • the description Y
  • the ironyamong other.

Examples of poetic function

As an example of the poetic function in literature we can mention the following fragment of a poem by Pablo Neruda, included in his book 20 love poems and a desperate song (poem XV:

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As for the popular forms of speech, we can mention the following examples:

  • “It seems like gold / it is not silver / he who does not know / is a fool” (popular riddle);
  • “Compadre, buy me coconut! / Compadre, I don’t buy coconut! / Because he who eats little coconut / buys little coconut” (tongue twister);
  • “A swallow does not make a summer” (popular saying).
  • “Works are love, not good reasons” (popular saying).

See also:

  • Language functions.
  • Literary or rhetorical figures.
  • Literature.