English 10: Writing Portfolio

 

Catholic Memorial High School

 

2005-2006

   
   
   
   
   
Research  
   
Creative Writing  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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Dear Mr. Trevor,

While looking though a British Literature site I landed on your Biography and became quite interested in your work. Rite now I am being educated in British Literature and our class has just gone over Monty Python, which is similar to your work. I am very curious myself about your specific comedies and even your sculpturing abilities and Believe that my class would prosper greatly just with an appearance. Your short story’s have changed quickly over the years from original short story’s, to plays, to radio and then to television.

My Name is Liam Concannon. I live in Boston Massachusetts and I am currently in Secondary School. My Mother was born in Ireland and grew up in Cork’s rival County, Kerry. I still have direct connections there and try to travel regularly. I was recently in Ireland over the summer to visit unfortunately we did not travel as far as Cork but we did visit certain towns like Dingle, and Shannon once we got off the plane.

On Account of my experiences I think that some of your pieces for example “The Day We got Drunk of Cake, ” and your very own words “The Irish delight in stories, of whatever kind, because their telling and their reception are by now instinctive.”. You present Irelands History Culture and Customs to the world and it’s a culture that really never expands in literature and it needs to be . I especially like the fact that you review the conflict between the Catholics and Protestants because it would be a great bit to poke fun at. You are a very distinguished writer being accepted into the Irish Academy of letters. Also through your many awards, David Cohen British Literature prize and your achievement of becoming a Companion of literature.

I would like to ask if you would come to Boston to visit my school and share your work with my class. There would be a whole in our education if we did not see your input on British Literature. Our School is called Catholic Memorial and is a school for young men from the ages of 13-18. It would truly be our honor to have you come and read to us. Please respond if able.

Sincerely Liam Concannon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
   
   
   
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“Holy Well” was one of John Fields well-known creations in his career. The individual song was loved by many people all over Europe, and was one of the reasons why John performed to pack theaters countless times. His Music gave a different kind of sound and melody, that never before his time, had been preformed through a piano. Especially now “Holy Well” and many more of John Fields songs are found in ever pianist’s teaching booklet’s all over the world giving British influence, in the writing of notes and performing music. Fields had become one of the greatest piano composers of Britain and of the world, bringing adding culture and prestige to the country. In his life time John Fields traveled to many countries but even after his death his song traveled around the world.

According to Irish songs of the 1900, John Field was one of the earliest and most influential Romantic piano players of our time. Students all over the world have memorized one or more of his solos because of its beautiful sound and form. Fields skill came from a very musical Protestant family, in Dublin, Ireland. His father was a violin player and his grand father was a church organist. Once he grew up he became one of the most popular composers in Europe during the first sixty or seventy years of the Nineteenth Century. In the 1800s his popularity went down, but now in the 20th century there has been a lot of interest in his life and music. Many Critics state that John Field was a true pioneer of Romanticism and had effected the musical world. His talent brought great respect and pride to his county, but most of his influences most likely came from the land where he grew up, Ireland.

The “Holy Well“, was written after an actual place in Cuilleann, County Tipperary. It was formerly devoted to Our Lady and was sacred in ancient times to the Goddess Brid. It was re-named in the Twentieth Century and is now known as Saint Patrick's Well. In in Lyrics of his song John Field distinctly only describes its scenery and makes references St. Patrick mainly because the majority of Irish Holy Wells are now attributed to Saint Patrick. “I join all the men who have squatted here, to speak to St. Patrick for the sins of the past year”.

One of the most universal languages of music was the languages of the piano. John Fields took this language and made such beautiful combinations of sound that could be respected by all, weather a person was educated in music or not. “Holy Well” Especially had such talent within the written lyrics and in the composure of the notes. This and many other songs had influenced many foreign people. Musical city’s like Paris, Vienna, and St. Petersburg were obsessed with bringing this composer from Britain to play at their theaters. Which continued the spread of British culture

With his travels and popularity he brought with him the culture of England and Ireland and spread it. Although it did not affect Britain in a economic way it spread British custom all over the world and affected the country in its growth, and mainly in its ability in the Art of Music. Towards the end of John Field life he had give Brittan and Ireland literally a push forward in Music, giving the country its high point over the world. John Field’s “Holy Well” aided his success and inevitably aided his country.

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For almost 100 year a group know as the IRA has fought for the freedom of the Northern providences of Ireland from English Rule. To many the IRA is seen as a Terrorist group in the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. To Mickey McKevitt, and many other IRA leaders they see themselves a liberators and patriots. Thou there ideas are not radical, they have been known to use violence, but violence for power. Power to defend the Catholic community in a mostly Protestant Northern Ireland, for revenge against so many years of injustice but most importantly Power to Unite the Country of Ireland as one Independent Nation. On February 23, Mickey McKevitt was charged with association with the IRA, organized crime, but mainly drug trafficking into England. Because of this groups lust for power it has caused a disastrous result.

The history of the IRA started after the signature of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921, members of the IRA who supported the Treaty formed the National Army founded by IRA leader Michael Collins in 1922. The anti-Treaty IRA continued to exist after its defeat in the Irish Civil War, by the late 1930s it had lost most of its good name with most supporters of the Republican side disregarded it. A small minority of Irish people created later claims to the name as the political ancestors of the original Irish Republican Army, though none had their claims accepted by Dáil Éireann, National leader in Ireland at the time. Being a member of this organization would most likely lead to becoming or being involved in criminal acts, as we have seen in Mickey McKevitt individual case.

In BBC news article entitled “Organized crime can be beaten” it stated that “the culprit Mickey McKevitt has been imprisoned with a bail set at 25000$.” - Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde. The chief constable also described Northern Ireland as a “low crime area”, but he said the PSNI had seized more counterfeit goods and illegal drugs than any other 43 police forces in the UK put together. McKevitt’s cause will stand in front of the British legal system but there will be strong legal attack during the trials by the Independent Monitoring Commission. A group that was set up by the British and Irish government in January 2004 to monitor the activity or paramilitary organizations.

Mickey McKevitt crime was obviously driven by power. He is a member of a group that has been trying to obtain power since the past century. This lust had turned Mr. Mckevitt into a smuggler of drugs just to gain money to support a group that was completely against the English control of Northern Ireland. Which inevitably is another example of aggression due to the lust of power, the power of a full united country. The crime committed was not for money for the culprit due to greed, it was money to strengthen the organization.

Shamus Heaney was one of Irelands greatest poets ever since William Butler Yeats. In his poem “From the Frontier of Writing” he speaks about the images of searching though cars which had proven the even the IRA had effected British Literature.

   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to research by the British Council, out of the many hundreds of thousands of languages "English has official or special status in at least seventy-five countries with a total population of over two billion. English is spoken as a native language by around 375 million and as a second language by around 375 million speakers in the world. In my own opinion English has allowed me to express myself ever since I was able to speak as a young child. Today English has such a dominant control over the worlds society, but individually can its words affect the language? The word “t’was” can be traced from old English into modern times. The oxford English dictionary defines it as “Conjoining form of it and was”. Many words either help or hurt a language by giving it a stereo type or generic mood. I believe that the word “t’was” in general helps the English language draw a connection between when old English was spoken to modern English today.

In a survey conducted by myself, many of the younger participants were skeptical of the word and questioned it. Many of there first connotations were to restating the word itself. For example when Andrew Damayenio’ and sophomore from Dedham Massachusetts his connotation was “That’s not a word”. On the other hand when asking my mother(Marion Concannon) a native from Southern Ireland her immediate connotation was her definition itself not showing and disbelief. The Survey Entirely was 80% male 20% female, 80% sophomores, 10% Juniors, and 10% out of High school.100% of the surveyors could identify the word and understood it giving an educated definition, showing that it is still a know word to define. In The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition it defines twas as “A Contraction of it was”

During a survey of Foreign speakers I presented the word “twas” to three individuals who had been raised speaking different languages and who were all from completely different back rounds. When Pedro Alexandro a 43 year old native Mexican was asked for his Connotation his response was “Excuse me what did you say?” It was very clear that he had never been in contact with it. When asking Serget Pyisarevsky a 62 year old Russian his connotation his response was “Oh I must think”. When asked to state his definition he responded “(guessing) Is Its some form of was?” Finally I asked him if it was hard to learn the word. Mr. Pyisarevsky thought for a moment and then spoke saying “ I believe I briefly would see this word in literature”. Lastly I asked Shamus O’Brian a 56 year old Irishmen all of the same questions, and shockingly he was able to answer with out any trouble. His connotation was “Is that all”, his definition was simply “It was”, and when asked if it was hard to learn he said “Not at all its so commonly spoken”. This data collectively shows that mainly the word “twas” is known more in certain cultural groups rather than others. Also Proving that a large knowledge of the word is coming from literature.

A word can have many meanings but when use in a sentence it is conflicted it to one of its definitions. When surveyors were asked to use “twas” in a sentence many quickly spoke the words of a very famous British writer named Charles Dickens and his classic story of “A Christmas Carol“. Many had accomplished smiles on there faces and stated “Twas the night before Christmas and All though the house Not a creature was stirring not even a mouse”. Unfortunately after the first recording into my notes it was invalid to anyone else, and when I stated that many seemed baffled and could not think of there own way of using it in a sentence. This alone proved that the younger generation today knows what the word means but is unable to use it leaving it only used in books and inevitably leading the word to be only used in the past.

When looking for more literary uses of the word I had learned that it was not commonly used and when doing a simple “Google Search” on the internet I could only find Dickens quotes or Abbreviations for something else. When using the Internet site “EBSCO” which searches though a databases of Magazines an Literature, Three Hundred and Fifty one hits appeared. Most describing letters of Irish Culture discussing certain events and abilities, or either evolving an article written with a witty title involving, once again, the well known Charles Dickens quote into the writers benefit. For examples “ The Letters of Ian McDougal” and Sports Illustrated “ T’was the night Before the Super Bowl”

What does this data show? Is our language evolving out of its old roots, creating new “slang” words that will soon become definitions. Many of our parents believe so, but would it be a bad thing. The English Language is so predominant that nearly ever country teaches it in their class rooms in any culture in any country. A Language that is over one thousand year old and is being taught all over the world will change, but what is what makes English Unique. The word “Twas” is a special word that adds to this uniqueness. It derives from Irish slang but through the years has advanced itself from slang into a formal word found in well known literature. Yes, slowly, but surly, is becoming extinct, but I believe that the word “twas” helps the English language connect to its beginnings giving English both a original yet new and up rising ability. Giving English a taste of the old and a taste of the new.