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Is there a technical term for when verbs in a sentence appear as if they have been swapped around as in the example here?

'her fingers creased in gold [and] her body ringed in folds'

In this line, the poet appears to have swapped transitive verbs so that a hall of mirrors is created; the gold refers to the rings, the creases to the folds, the rings to the fingers, and the creases to the body.

I know what the poet is doing, but I have searched online for the technical term for swapping transitive verbs from their expected contexts and am unable to find any.

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closed as not a real question by MετάEd, tchrist, Robusto, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, Kristina Lopez Apr 2 '13 at 17:20

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Deliberately misusing words is a form of catachresis, but I don't think that captures the idea of swapping ringed and creased from their more natural contexts. –  donothingsuccessfully Mar 31 '13 at 8:09

1 Answer 1

You can take either "metaphor" or "transposition" as being accurate, but I would go ahead and invent the term "transpositional metaphor" to do the whole job here.

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Many thanks for both of your very useful answers. –  Swannie Apr 1 '13 at 14:12

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