Edwar Hirch's Execution

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Edward Hirch's poem Execution touches on various thought provoking and heart touching subjects such as cancer. Hirsch does this by using a common American loved sport football to make connections with the reader. Within the poem Hirsch begins to by building a character for us which was the football Coach who was diagnosed with cancer. Hirsch used an extensive amount of literary strategies in his poem to portray the Coach as a man who had always been a strong fighter and strives for the "perfect execution" and winning in life. The Coach's life is changed drastically when he is loosing his battle with his opponent Cancer which is shattering his hopes and battering him with Cancer's "deadly...power." Feeling inferior to cancer, the Coach devised a "spiderweb of options and counters, Blasts and sweeps..." in a futile attempt to defeat cancer. The Coach knew that his plans were "flawless" and he made sure to use every strategy out there, but just like other cancer patients who try everything they possibly can do to survive, most of the time it isn't enough. In the Coach's case the game that he was fighting against cancer was already lost and all that was left of him was a "wobbly...stunned by illness" man. Even though winning his battle would have been the ideal ending, the author's purpose was to show that Cancer is tireless and that sometimes in life, some battles will be lost no matter how long and hard the fight.
Diction is used through out the poem Execution to effectively portray the Coach's character through out the story and the battle he is fighting with cancer. In the story the game of football was used with an extended symbolic meaning representing the game of life. At the beginning of the story Hirsch used phrases...

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...ming because at some points you feel hope for the Coach but then the reader realizes how difficult the battle against cancer is and how most individuals have a slim chance of surviving. Which then creates a sense of reality, displaying that not everyone wins in life no matter what it is whether its football, or an illness. Hirsch then ties the reality back to something that is sort of unreal to humans until we experience it, death. This incredible combination creates a mood that over powers the reader throughout the entire piece until the end which is the loss of hope, and sadness. The poem was pieced together beautifully in an extended metaphor, which finalizes the impact of the authors purpose on the reader. Hirsch use of language made the poem become very real, and causes individuals to grasp a hold of a bit of reality and realize that in life everyone can't win.

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