I'm afraid my question is somewhat vague, and I'll try to improve it as I find the time to research it more.
I've been having a nagging memory of my Ancient Greek and Latin classes (and in that memory this was related to Homer), where we analysed a poetic practice consisting of applying, say, an adjective describing a word X to a nearby word Y, for instance for a poetic effect. This idea seems pretty clear to me, but I am at a loss finding a name for it, and I'm guessing there must be one.
Examples (all fictitious, if I find one in the literature I'll add it, but right now I don't have one at hand):
- "The bloody clouds hovered over the battlefield" (bloody applied to clouds instead of battlefield)
- "As the Acheans waited, a grief-stricken storm was rising to the North" (grief-stricken Acheans)
- "And then the queen lifted her amorous cup and greeted him" (amorous queen...)
A friend mentioned chiasmus, which, seems to me, would require the last leg, to get any sort of ABBA cross pattern, even if conceptual, whereas here we only have AB + C becoming B + AC, as it were, applying to objects or atmospheres the internal states of people present, in a gesture of semantic transposition.
Has anyone else heard of this, or am I just hallucinating this memory?
Many thanks in advance,