Time takes a cigarette …

Thinking of rhetorical devices used in song (as highlighted by both Forsyth and Romm), I’ve just remembered one of my favourite lines:

“Time takes a cigarette
And puts it in your mouth”

The opening line from David Bowie’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide (from the Ziggy Stardust album).

Aside from the staccato alliteration of “Time takes”, what’s the device?  It’s similar to the transferred epithet of “an astonished piece of toast”, but it’s really the verb that’s transferred.  I think, on my reviewing of the Elements of Eloquence, that it’s an example of either metonymy or personification but I’m not sure.

Can any experts shed some light?


About Andrew Munro

An independent business consultant, interim manager and writer, Andrew operates through his company, Burning Pine Ltd (http://burningpine.com).
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