In lines 3–4, the speaker uses a rhetorical fragment: "under my window, a clean rasping sound / when the spade sinks into gravelly ground." What effect is created by the speaker's use of this fragment?

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In the poem "Digging" by Seamus Heaney , this fragment performs several jobs within the stanza. Under the window all the things in the stanza appear: the father, the gravelly ground, and the digging. This is also where the speaker looks. The sound comes from all of these...

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In the poem "Digging" by Seamus Heaney, this fragment performs several jobs within the stanza. Under the window all the things in the stanza appear: the father, the gravelly ground, and the digging. This is also where the speaker looks. The sound comes from all of these sources in various ways. The incompleteness of this fragment can be seen to represent the sorts of quick associations we make while being distracted by something. When the author is focused on the pen and, later in the poem, on the father, he uses less fragmented thoughts, but these distractions are not so well articulated until they are fully processed in the author's mind, in later lines. In this specific phrase, we have an excellent auditory image that draws us into the world of the poem.

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