Abstract and keywords
Abstract (English):
The relevance of the study is to substantiate the paradoxical fact of high appreciation of poetic work by society in the absence of a ratio- nal explanation of its benefits for every native speaker. The aim is to iden- tify and justify one of the reasons for the demand for poetry and its benefits for the individual. Methods: comparative, descriptive. Conclusion. The use of words in unusual contexts for them, the poets expand the semantic structure of words and thereby increase the valence of the vocabulary of the national language.

metaphor, conventionality, poetry, semantic structure, va- lence
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It is known that every nation values and reveres poets and writers more than all its representatives. At the same time, rarely anyone can give a clear answer to the question – why (usually they point to the cognitive and educational functions of literature, which are the main ones for such forms of public consciousness as science and pedagogy; literature performs these functions along the way, and poets do not see them as their main task).

The indicated paradox is associated with a clear discrepancy between 1) the unattainable height to which the people elevate the poet, and 2) the difficulty of answering the question of what practical benefit a particular poet brought to his people. Speaking about the role of the poet, it is often difficult even to recall the deep thoughts expressed by him, for which he could be revered so highly. It turns out that poets are valued not for ideas and discoveries of theoretical or practical significance, but for their ability to "play with words", to compose poems smoothly, which, according to many, is more like fun. Nevertheless, the most talented people who ruled the country, won battles and wars and saved the country from enslavement, scientists who made scientific discoveries, created cars and airplanes, televisions and telephones, without which we cannot do without today, are revered and famous less than poets, who are only known for "cleverly manipulating words." At the same time, it is obvious that if poetry did not contain benefits, it would not be in such demand. From what has been said, the need for a rational explanation of the specific benefits of poetry for a person follows.

Any language consists of "grasped" by consciousness (meaningful) episodes of reality, for which a person fixes into words-designations. The world is whole and indivisible, and words are scattered and express the meanings of only its individual segments. Therefore, languages that are discrete in nature are characterized by fragmentation and far from covering the semantic space of the surrounding reality.

If an ordinary person, in whose activity there is no creative principle, limiting himself to frequently used words and sufficiently mastered meanings, is engaged in repeating and quoting what has already been repeated millions of times, then a creative person – whether a lyricist or a physicist - is trying to express a new meaning that has not yet been expressed before. As Voznesensky wrote: "There are no "physicists", there are no "lyricists" - / Lilliputians or poets!" [2, p. 321]. Unlike artisans who follow the beaten paths, creators are paving new paths in the global semantic space. Actually, in poetry, the latter is mastered by unusual combinations of words, between which new semantic bridges are established through metaphors and comparisons. In this way, poets strive to overcome the fragmentation of the world they feel, which is reflected in language: "Poetry, due to the absurdity of wholeness, seeks to unite or, at least, to show the illusory unity and integrity of the spiritual world ..." [1, p. 109]. It is for this purpose that all the tropes created by brilliant poets (metaphors, comparisons, etc.) serve, which later often pass into the category of common vocabulary (rain is falling, time is flying, morning has come, the sun has set, catches the eye, pressure has risen, chair leg, etc.).

The main reason for the demand for poetry, therefore, is the poets' deep comprehension of reality. However, with a very common but erroneous installation that poetic images (metaphors, comparisons, etc.) denote a conditional reality, the very content of poetry becomes meaningless, which in this case would not be so in demand. At the same time, the content of poetic tropes does not mean any conventionality, but the very reality: this is revealed when analyzing the semantic structure of a word, where the components of meanings correlated by the poet in two words coincide absolutely. If we talk, for example, about the phrase eyes, like the sky, are blue, then the comparison with the sky is not a convention, since in the literal sense the color (of the sky) that is indicated is called (so the "sky-blue" component becomes part of the semantic structure of the word "eyes").

Having seen and actualized a very specific feature in distant realities, poets at a deep level associate the words denoting them with a common seme, which makes this phrase possible for understanding and further use. The use of words in unusual contexts (phrases) for them – when the defined word is enriched with a new seme - is one of the main ways to increase the number of semes in them and expand the content of their meanings in the individual lexicon of a person. It is clear that the most fertile ground for replenishing the semantic structure of words in an individual native speaker is poetry (fiction and partly science).

As in substances that appear to be different at the molecular level (for example, air and water), only when viewed at a deeper level, the same atoms (oxygen and hydrogen) are found, so in words that appear to be different in meaning at the "atomic" level, common semes are found. For example, in the metaphorical comparison of learning - light, the first word contains the seme "information", the word light also actualizes the informativeness that it represents (hence: a smart head is a bright head). To navigate in space, either illumination is required, or its knowledge, which, like a searchlight, dispels darkness. There is no conventionality in the figurative comparison of knowledge with light: the metaphor caught and accurately expressed that basic meaning, that common seme, which is the essence of light and knowledge, thanks to which this connection became common and formed the basis of the usual nominations (Ministry of Education, etc.). Thus, artistic reality appears to be conditional only at a superficial glance, and when examined in detail, it contains an accurate expression of the actual state of affairs, which is why poetry is so in demand.

When analyzing a poetic image based on the semantic structure of words, such precision appears in place of the apparent convention, which turns out to be a completely inaccessible find for rational consciousness. If, in ordinary use, people operate with superficial meanings of words, then the poetic image is based on the identification of the most subtle nuances of meaning, which reveal themselves only when distinguishing in a word several tens or hundreds of them included in its structure.

Many poets can find the word to be sick in the meaning of "to love": "But I recognize by all the signs / The disease of love in my soul" (A. S. Pushkin), "I stumbled upon it by accident / And since then, everything seems to be sick" (A. Akhmatova), "I like that you are not sick with me..." (M. Tsvetaeva), "Your son is perfectly ill! / Mom! / He has a fire in his heart" (V. Mayakovsky), etc. Is this usage conditional? It turns out not: the metaphor fixed an invisible at first glance, but a real connection between the phenomena. As you know, love is listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the register of diseases under the number F 63.9. Falling in love is characterized by "symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder: obsessive thoughts about other things, sudden mood swings, self-pity, insomnia, rash actions, blood pressure drops, headaches, allergic reactions" [5], in connection with which it is attributed to mental abnormalities (to the item "Disorder of habits and drives"), along with alcoholism, gambling and substance abuse.

The widespread combination of a broken heart is a metaphor in which, as a rule, conventionality is seen. In fact, there is no convention, because modern medicine has received evidence that "such stressful events as separation, divorce, loss of a loved one, betrayal, cause deep emotional experiences that trigger certain chemical compounds of the brain that significantly weaken the heart, lead to severe chest pain and difficulty breathing - symptoms of a heart attack" [6]. In medicine, this condition has been called "broken heart syndrome".

Due to his sensitivity, the poet can see the connection of phenomena that seem far from each other to an ordinary person. If a certain meaning (sema) is found in words that are far away in meaning, this indicates the discovery of connections in the world of things and realities, which leads to the emergence of new associations and, accordingly, thoughts. If comparisons and metaphors did not have a real basis and force, they would fall into disuse. Their relevance is due to the fact that poets celebrate a reality that has gone unnoticed. Thus, the poet opens people's eyes to the peculiarities of the world, which become the property of everyone. According to the figurative expression of V. Khlebnikov, "it is necessary to sow the eyes. The sower of the eyes must go ahead" [4]. The reader begins to see the world as keenly as the prophetic eye of the poet sees it.

Since words not only name objects, but also fix their signs in their meaning, a person needs the richness of his language for effective mental activity. This implies not only the number of words in an individual dictionary, but also (which is very important!) "quality", the content of the meaning of a word, i.e. the number of them in the semantic structure of each word, expressing the total knowledge about the object. It is the number of these in a word that determines its valence – the ability to form connections with other words, affecting the primitiveness or sophistication of emerging thoughts.

Since the process of mastering the world has contributed to the formation and continues to contribute to the improvement of man, the meaning of things seems to be the most valuable achievement of man, which is why humanity has been in constant pursuit of information about the world for centuries. This activity, in which both individuals and huge collectives and entire states take part, can be compared to the work of prospectors during the gold rush. By their significance, the smallest elements of meaning - semes - for a person are of such value that they cannot be compared with any precious metal, because the information about the world accumulated in words is the building material of each person's mental activity.

By creating additional semes in words and thereby increasing their valence, poets improve and hone the national language as an extremely important national and at the same time individual tool for each person to master reality. V. Mayakovsky spoke about both the significance of poetry and the reason for the people's veneration of poets:

"Poetry is the same production of radium.

In gram production, in years of labor.

Harassing a single word for the sake of

Thousands of tons of verbal ore.

But how sizzling is the burning of these words

Next to the corruption of the raw word.

These words set in motion

Thousands of years of millions of hearts" [3, p. 119].

The demand for poets is due to the fact that by unusual combinations of words they accumulate the semantic potential of individual words and the entire national language that everyone uses. In this regard, the contribution of brilliant poets to the development of the language is beyond doubt. The question may arise regarding mediocre poets, whose work for some reason also turns out to be in demand. In answer to this question, one can also draw an analogy with precious metals: as gold is mined not only in the form of nuggets, but also in rocks with a low concentration, so the substance of poetry has a value that is in demand in any quantities.

Thus, due to the fragmentary nature of any language, the desire of poets to master the semantic space of reality not covered by language through metaphors becomes relevant. In the seminal analysis of the semantic structure of the words included in the metaphorical combination, it is found that the content of poetic tropes should be understood not as a convention, but as reality, since the correlated semes coincide absolutely. If comparisons and metaphors did not have a real basis, they would fall into disuse. The use of words in phrases unusual for them is one of the main ways to expand the content (number of semes) of their meanings. If a certain meaning (sema) is found in words that are far away in meaning, this indicates the discovery of connections in the world of things and realities, which leads to the emergence of new associations and, accordingly, new opportunities for thinking. By creating additional semes in words, poets expand the semantic structure of the vocabulary of both the reader's individual dictionary and the national language as a whole.


1. Annensky In. Books of reflections. Moscow: Nauka, 1979. 680 p.

2. Voznesensky A. Collected works: in 3 volumes, vol. 1. Moscow: Art. lit. 1983. 464 p.

3. Mayakovsky V. V. Complete works: in 13 vols. 7. M.: Fiction, 1955-1961. 536 p.

4. https://slova.org.ru/hlebnikov/odinokijlitsedej / (accessed 06.06.2019).

5. https://ukranews.com/news/111350-lyubov-vnesly-v-reestr-psykhycheskykh-zabolevanyy (accessed: 09.06.2019).

6. https://yandex.ru/turbo?text=https%3A%2F%2Filive.com.ua%2Fhealth%2Fsindrom-razbitogo-serdca_115292i15949.html&d=1 (accessed: 12.06.2019).

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