Metaphor and Poetic Creativity: A Cognitive Linguistic Account Cover Image

Metaphor and Poetic Creativity: A Cognitive Linguistic Account
Metaphor and Poetic Creativity: A Cognitive Linguistic Account

Author(s): Zoltán Kövecses
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Scientia
Keywords: metaphor; metaphoric creativity; cognitive devices; role of context

Summary/Abstract: The issue of metaphorical creativity was studied by George Lakoff and Mark Turner (1989) in their More Than Cool Reason. Lakoff and Turner make two very important claims. One is that poets share with everyday people most of the conceptual metaphors they use in poetry and, second, metaphorical creativity in poetry is the result of four common conceptual devices that poets use in manipulating otherwise shared conceptual metaphors. These include the devices of elaboration, extension, questioning, and combining. However, others have shown that these cognitive devices, or strategies, exist not only in poetic language but also in more ordinary forms of language use, such as journalism (see, e.g., Jackendoff and Aaron, 1990; Semino, 2008). Moreover, it seems that not all cases of the creative use of metaphor in poetry are the result of such cognitive devices. Mark Turner proposed that in many cases poetry makes use of what he and Fauconnier call "blends," in which various elements from two or more domains, or frames, can be conceptually fused, or integrated (see, e.g., Turner, 1996; Fauconnier and Turner, 2002). In this paper, I will suggest that in order to be able to account for the full range of metaphorical creativity in poetry, we need to go even further. I will propose that a fuller account of the poetic use of metaphor requires that we look at the possible role of the context in which poets create poetry.

  • Issue Year: 1/2009
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 181-196
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: English