Language and Linguistics

Characteristics of poetic function of language

The poetic function is a proper element of verbal communication and that is intended to give strength and elevate a discourse. The term was created in 1959 by Roman Jakobson and arises at a time when the linguist sought to give a name to that which gave each written or oral message its unique shape, personality and beauty.

The poetic function is subject to the writer, it is an inseparable part of how each individual expresses deep thought about a subject. This factor devised by Jakobson is also known as the aesthetic function of language. The use of the poetic function is not limited to a particular genre, but is part of every literary form. We can see it present in novels, short stories, poems in verse and prose or plots indistinctly, and in each case that is presented it will be a signature of the author’s style.


Based on the above, the poetic function can be conceptualized as the element that each author uses to give strength to his speech. It is an aesthetic factor of the communicative fact that allows the message to be transmitted orally or in writing in a more intense and expressive way than usual.

The poetic function is inseparable from each author, so it can also be described as the imprint that a writer leaves on his works.

Characteristics of the poetic function

It is the footprint of each author in his work

This is one of the most important qualities of the poetic function. This communicational factor is an indivisible part of each author, so it will be easy to deduce who wrote a poem out of 5 authors if whoever reads it has extensive knowledge of each writer.

Whoever elaborates a work reflects in his writing his way of seeing the world, of feeling, of thinking and of ideologizing. All the aforementioned is exposed in each text and allows the reader to have an idea of ​​the character and feeling of the author regarding an idea.

Under this vision, the element of the poetic or aesthetic function allows us to see the way in which each subject describes the world that surrounds him, or the ideas he has within himself.

Empower speech

If something seeks the poetic function of language, it is to elevate and potential the message to be transmitted. It is not just about embellishing the speech, but about giving it qualities that allow those who listen to be impressed with what is said.

It is not subject to a single literary genre

This quality of the poetic function indicates that it can be applied to any literary genre, it is not limited to any one in particular. Therefore, we can see it applied not only in poetry, but also in the novel, in the short story, in the essay, and in each literary form with its subdivisions naturally and following the personality of each author.

Makes use of literary resources

As the objective of the poetic function of language is to enhance the message to be transmitted, the use of literary resources is logical and necessary. Each of these (be it the simile, or the alliteration, the image, the onomatopoeia , the banana or a paranomasia ) give the speech a particular force.

As expressed in the first characteristic, the use of each resource will be directly linked to the personality of the writer.

The importance of the timbre in those who declaim

Although there must be a necessary force in what is written, if this is not accompanied by the oral section, it is useless. The person issuing the message must try to inton each phrase appropriately and play with the nuances of the voice.

Achieving the appropriate action of the voice at the time of issuing the message will allow what was intended to be transmitted to take the appropriate form, and, therefore, the communicative act is largely fulfilled.

Examples of sentences with poetic function

  1. – The night allowed the refugees to rest a bit from the harsh and mean sun .
  2. – I don’t know where we were going, I just know that we should continue; going back was a near death.
  3. – So much so that we talk about the beasts and their backwardness, and look what we have done with the world.
  4. – It remains only to see what tomorrow holds, the new dawn will come with its own questions.
  5. – Go slowly, go fast, what does it matter now? What really matters is that we already left.
  6. – That boat brings more than fish to shore, it brings new days, less hunger, it brings hope.
  7. – That painting captured the reality of the moment, it seems that the painter put his soul in it.
  8. – The child takes his dog with such love, with such care, that it makes me question all the light that I have lost.
  9. – I come to talk to you about something more than a salary increase, I come to talk to you about self-love, about respect.
  10. – I don’t know what will become of me tomorrow, what I do know is that it wouldn’t be the same if you’re not there.
  11. – The north is not the same since yesterday; yesterday I left my land there, the north is now something like heaven.
  12. – Migrating changes everything, it changes your name, your life, and makes you cling to memories like never before.
  13. – Arriving at the Venezuela station is very strong, knowing that when you get off you will not really be there, it will bankrupt anyone.
  14. – Let’s talk about the real, about the loneliness that we are when we go in a group, because that is what we are, simple loneliness.
  15. – I will go beyond that border, and I will spend two or three more, but the truth is that I will never have left.

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