Wikipedia's Gil Scott-Heron begins:
Gilbert Scott-Heron (April 1, 1949 – May 27, 2011) was an American jazz poet, singer, musician, and author known for his work as a spoken-word performer in the 1970s and 1980s. His collaborative efforts with musician Brian Jackson fused jazz, blues, and soul with lyrics relative to social and political issues of the time, delivered in both rapping and melismatic vocal styles.
but I don't see how simply "poet" would not also apply.
The lyrics to his recorded song Pieces of a Man are as follows (my formatting):
Jagged jigsaw pieces tossed about the room
I saw my grandma sweeping with her old straw broom
But she didn't know what she was doing, she could hardly understand
That she was really sweeping up pieces of a man
I saw my daddy meet the mailman, and I heard the mailman say:
"Now don't you take this letter to heart now Jimmy 'cause they've laid off nine others today"
But he didn't know what he was saying, he could hardly understand
That he was only talking to pieces of a man
I saw the thunder and heard the lightning, and felt the burden of his shame
And for some unknown reason, he never turned my way
Pieces of that letter were tossed about the room
And now I hear the sound of sirens come knifing through the gloom
But they don't know what they are doing, they could hardly understand
That they're only arresting pieces of a man
I saw him go to pieces. I saw him go to pieces
He was always such a good man. He was always such a strong, strong man
Yeah, I saw him go to pieces. I saw him go to pieces
The first time I heard this recording it knocked me over. It seems to be told from the point of view of a child watching a scene unfold and trying to process it, and to tell somebody, anybody, "I saw him go to pieces", looking for some combination of comfort, understanding or explanation... something.
It was only months and dozens of listens later that I suddenly realized the line "I saw the thunder and heard the lightning, and felt the burden of his shame" contains so much, but also that it has a literary device(?) that I hadn't noticed. We normally associate thunder with hearing, and lightning with seeing, but they're reversed here.
Question: I recognize that spoken or sung it works better this way than the "correct" way, but I'm wondering if this kind of switching of words 1) has a name, and 2) is more common than I realize (I've never seen it before). Are there other notable examples of this?