The article examines the use of words in those primary meanings (or close to them), that were replaced by fi gurative meanings as a result of linguistic evolution. The research is based on the material of modern Russian poetry (since the second half of the 20th century). Semantic rederivation (reconstruction, archaization) of words is carried out in violation of their normative reference and syntagmatics. The reconstructed words are simultaneously the author’s semantic neologisms and semantic archaisms. Etymologically, the primary meaning of verbs and verbal nouns is revealed when they move from the sphere of mental actions and states to the sphere of physical activity. Phraseologically related and denotatively limited words restore their original broad meaning. At the same time, synesthesia and enantiosemy are found in some contexts. The author’s change in the semantics of words can aff ect their grammatical affi liation: qualitative adjectives and adverbs return the status of relative ones, adjectives ascending to participles become participles again. Semantic reinterpretation of words is sometimes accompanied by the removal of stylistic restrictions on their use. The reconstructed words may not coincide with those that actually existed, but in all cases they point to the retrospective direction of semantic transformation as a strong expressive means. It is important that when perceiving word usage that actualizes the internal form of words, the reader’s initial knowledge is a modern derived lexical meaning, therefore, it is inevitably included in the meaning of the poetically transformed vocabulary, prompting the reader to linguistic reflection.