English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  

Dear Mr. Seamus Heaney, I am writing to you because I am studying British literature in my 10th grade class at Catholic Memorial High school in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. We have read some of your works in our literature book but I don’t believe that there was enough reading on you. We have just finished our unit on contemporary British authors and we probably won’t read any more of your stories so I would appreciate it if you came to our school and read us some more of your stories.

At Catholic Memorial we have grades 7 – 12. We are located in West Roxbury, Massachusetts on 235 Baker Street. I am in the 10th grade and the whole 10th grade class liked your work when we read it in September.

We studied your life a little and read a few of your poems, but we would like it if you came to tell us a little more about your life or read us a few more of your poems. Some of the poems we read by you that we liked were Mid-Term Break, Digging, and a few more. I thought Mid- Term Break was a very touching poem. You put a lot of detail into the poem. We especially thought it was touching in Mid-Term Break when the kid comes home and finds out his brother has passed away.

We also studied a little about your life. We went over how you moved from Northern Ireland to Southern Ireland. Then you came to the U.S. and now teaching classes at Harvard. I think your life is cool because you believe in yourself. Even though people were calling you a betrayer for leaving Northern Ireland you still wrote poems and didn’t care what people were calling you and still wrote them with pride. I admire that because I would not have enough courage to still keep writing and writing as good after a whole country called me a trader.

We would be happy if you could come to our school and read us some of our poems or tell us about your life a little more or even tell us some stories about your life we would very much appreciate it if you would come. It would be an honor and a pleasure to have you at Catholic Memorial. From, Giovanni De Benedictis

























The song David of the White Rock (version 1) by Barry Taylor is a religious folk song. It teaches us what the English and the Welsh liked to do in the mid 1800’s. So how does it influence people in the world today? Well it teaches us about what the meaning of life was in the 1800’s.

This song is a famous Welsh airs song. It inspired people to relax and enjoy the moment because you will never know what will happen next. It is still a pretty popular song in England and Ireland today. It is a culturally a religious song, “I wish my loved ones the blessing God brings.” Barry Taylor the writer of the song is a very famous song writer in Northwest Europe. He has written many songs and poems. There is also a book about his life.

This is also a very depressing song. “I will play one more tune before I die.” It is a song about how David just wants to play one more tune on his harp, to his loved ones before he dies. The words are easy to understand but the deep meaning is that he is ready to die but before he just wants to leave his loved ones with something to remember him by.

 The song’s function was to get the listener to think about their death and know that they could go at any time. The meaning is so that you will live life to the fullest. The words of the song are easy to understand but the meaning is what makes it difficult. An example is, “Help me, dear wife, put the hands to the strings.” He is asking his wife to help him put his hands on the stings of the harp. He does not have the energy to that but he wants to play a song for them that requires more energy so he wants to have all the energy he can have to make the last song he ever plays the best song he ever plays.

In conclusion this song has very deep meaning. It is about a man that has already accepted that he is going to die and is almost ready. He just wants to play one more song on his harp to his loved ones. At fist you just think the song is about a dieing loved one but when you really read the lyrics you notice that it is about a man who is about to die and the last thing he wants to do is pleas his loved ones with a song on his harp.

























Eu is giving Serbia a deadline on when they have to hand over Ratko Mladic. The European Union has told Serbia that they have until the end of March to hand him over. Mladic is wanted because he has commited many war crimes. The list is very extensive but the Eu is charging him with the death of 8,000 Muslim men and boys. If Serbia does not hand him over by the end of March Serbia will not become a prospective member of the European Union. He believed that he had the power to kill those 8,000 Muslims but he was wrong.

It is known that he killed those 8,000 Muslims, and I believe it was because he wanted to show them that he had the power over them. I do not get why Serbia is trying to protect and hid him. If they don’t hand him over it will keep them out of the European Union and then they will be attacked so that they will find him.

I think that Mladic did this to show all the other Muslims that he had the power to kill them. He may be powerful but he is also widely known so it was known that he committed the crimes. And there is always someone that is more powerful then youand obviously Ratko did not believe that. Ratko himself has said nothing yet about these crimes. This is because they have not found him yet. All that has been said was that “many people have died or suffered because of Ratko’s decisions and he will pay for them.”

In the story “the Mystery of Clomber” there is a reference to war crimes. He is involved in the Afghan war. He kills a bunch of people in the Afghan war. So this is just like what Ratko did.

IN conclusion I believe that Ratko Maldic is guilty. That is because it is known that he killed those 8,000 Muslims. I also think that Serbia will turn him overto the European Union because if they don’t they will not be allowed to join.






























There are many weird and awkward words in the English language. We had the assignment to pick just one of those words. The word that I choose to pick was the word “Poverty”. I think the word has both helped and hurt the population of the entire world that speaks English, but I believe that it has hurt the world more then it has helped it.

Most people that I asked said that the first thing that popped into their mind was the word poor or poor community. Of the people that I asked only 5 of them learned English as their first language. The others all learned Italian as their first language and were all born in Italy. I also interviewed my dad who was the valedictorian at MIT for his freshman year but then decided to drop out because he found a job that pays him well. His response to me asking him what came to mind when I asked him what the word poverty meant to him was “The word poverty to me is people who are living in a poor community who are deprived of many things that you and I take for granitite.” People that I asked had some different ideas on the word. One person was the status of being poor.

According to the OED the word “poverty” was born in 1175. The sentence was “Per scal beon world wunne wio – utten pourte.” The author of this frist sentence that was ever written with the word “poverty” was Lamb. Hont. And it was on line 143. It was also used by the famous play writer William Shakespeare in his play Romeo and Juliet. It is in Act 5 scene 1. The line is “My poverty, but not my will consents.”

 There are many uses of the word “poverty” in literature today. It is in many newspapers and magazines. It was used in “Business week online” on May 2, 2006. It was also used in the popular “Time” magazine on May 8, 2006. Some other less familiar sources like “Journal of policy Analysis and Management” in the winter of 2006.

The American Heritage Dictionary uses the word “poverty” as “The state of being poor; lack of the means of providing material needs or comforts.” Word net uses the word “poverty” as “the state of having little or no money and few or no material possessions.” So many of the uses of the word poverty are similar and are related in some ways. When most people think of the word “poverty” they think of the same thing they think of people who are poor.

In conclusion the word “poverty” is used a lot in the world today even though it is a very old word. I think in the recent years the word “poverty” has hurt the English language more then it has helped it. I think it has hurt the world more then it has helped it because the word “poverty” is the state of being poor so when you say that some one lives in poverty you are saying that they live without many of the materials needed to survive in the world today. When you say that some one lives in poverty it makes people look down on them and think of them as being lower then them. This is why I believe that the word “poverty” has hurt the English language more then helping it.