The general topic of this study is the literary status and function of the Qur 'an, but the specific topic is its poetic status and function. Though not poetry in the strict Arabian and Islamic sense, it nonetheless displays and foregrounds several textual and pragmatic features, which are associated with decidedly poetic framing devices. Such poetic devices comprise, among others, various forms of recurrence, techniques of defamiliarization, semantic ambiguities, iconicity, entextualization, deictic volatility, self-referentiality, and cantillation. Drawing on an interdisciplinary conception of the poetic, a number of exploratory readings are undertaken to substantiate the poetic-aesthetic potential of the Qur 'anic text, i.e. its ability to invoke a certain 'thick' and heightened attention in the minds of its users. These readings are of course informed by the state of the art within Qur 'anic studies, but they also integrate insights gained from ritual studies, anthropological linguistics, cognitive semantics, and various literary theories on enunciation, meta-textuality, and anxiety of influence.