English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  

Dear Mr. Reading,

I would like to introduce myself, I am an aspiring writer in the tenth grade at Catholic Memorial High School in Boston, MA and my name is Sean Kiley. After scrolling through a British Contemporary writer’s website I came across your name. After reading through your biography you seemed very interesting and indifferent writer. An assignment that I had this semester was to pick a British Contemporary author and write to them to cordially invite them to are class to speak or read some of their work. At first this topic seemed easy but I had a difficulty finding someone that fascinated me until I came to you.

Since some of your works are recent it was rather simple to find, but I found the true connection when your biography revealed that you were once a teacher. I found it very interesting that it only took you about six poems to become a widely known writer. I admire the creativity that you posses, but still sticking to the classical style of writing does it for me. I also fond of the fact that you have such longevity and still are able to produce classic works no matter what generation or time it is.

I read your poem “Soirée” and I enjoyed it because it related to my thoughts on meeting a significant others parents exactly. It is most of the same thoughts and I like how you interpreted how much a male or female will put up with for there significant other. It shows the amount of sometimes agony and suffering that a certain individual will put up with for there lover. I also really liked the line where you said “'Peter, you interested in history?'(Mate I ain't even interested in the present.) Still I'm here because I love her.” I thought it was ironic how this line is so true with people who meet there significant other parents for the first time and there willingness to do anything for the person that they love.

Although I deeply have a high regard for your work I have found it to be impossible for your work to fit into are daily schedule in British Literature. I read one of your poems and thought it was excellent but the rest of my class probably will not have this opportunity to enjoy it because of our limited time in class and some of your work are teacher wont let us share because of the content. Perhaps you could stop by and read my class some of your works or give us some of your incite to help us to be better writers. Thank you for your time and I hope to hear back from you soon. Sincerely, Sean Kiley






















“Bantry Bay” is an Irish folk song written by James L. Molloy is famous for the descriptive story it tells about Ireland’s scenery. This beautiful song is a sort of short melody but is still very legendary in Ireland. It does not say specifically when it was written but I think that it was during the late eighteenth century because folk wasn’t really that popular yet in the early eighteenth century. It still remains somewhat popular due to the fact that the lyrics are so distinct and still relevant today. It certainly has an effect on how we think of Ireland and depict it in the present day. It seems to me that during this song it is talking about taking time out of your day to just sit back and watch life and notice all of the little things that we tend to let slip by us in his beautiful city Bantry Bay. It also affected the culture because of the different type of song writing and poetic verses that he used in this song.

According to an Irish folk song sites biography James L. Molloy was born in County Offaly but he moved to England soon after he was born and lived there for most of his life. He was a barrister, which is basically a modern day court official in a case. Although Molloy was a barrister he did not practice law. He made some other songs like “The Kerry Dance” and “Just a Song at Twilight” but they failed to be as popular as his one hit wonder “Bantry Bay.” This majestic song takes on a journey over the passive land of Bantry Bay and uses a form of repetition in it.

One aspect of this song that I think is very major is the great scenery that is talks about. Ireland is famous for being beautiful and Bantry Bay is one of the most beautiful cities in the country. In the song, it talks about this famous fisherman at the gorgeous seaport that are on a voyage and happen to stop there. It says” To sail upon the great highway” with all the lassies at peaceful Bantry Bay. The old stone way is also mentioned in this song which reminds me of stone walls which are almost extinct in modern day cities across the world.

Another intriguing characteristic of this song is the stunning word play that tells us to stop every once in a while and observe our lives from a different perspective. This song talks about the variety of people that reside and visit Bantry Bay. It quickly glances through the lives or sailors, fisherman, and lassies that are in Bantry Bay. It also talks about the author’s life briefly in this classic song as he is reminiscing of Bantry Bay and the good old times.

There was a cover for this song by Count John McCormack in 1997 on the compact disk “Music of The Night.” It later appeared on his greatest hits compact disk called “The Final Recordings.” There hasn’t been any sampling so far as this was a remake of the song. It has also inspired many diverse books to be written as well as many other songs about the village of Bantry Bay. The most notable book that it has inspired has been “The Cottage at Bantry Bay” by Hilda Van Stockum as well as other books from her series about Bantry Bay.

Bantry Bay used to be a small seaport but in my own opinion because of James L. Molloy’s historic song it has blossomed into one of Irelands most famous cities. It encouraged other people to write books and songs about Bantry Bay. The aspects of scenery and people watching as some call it has made this song an Irish classic. Although it is not as popular as “Danny Boy” or songs similar to that I think that this song has sculpted Ireland and what it has to offer for all of us and if James L. Molloy did not compose this song Bantry Bay would be much different as would Ireland at a whole.























Abu Musab al- Zarqawi is a notorious leader of one of the most violent and ruthless terrorist groups in the world- Al Qaeda. He has confessed and bragged about killing numerous people on videotapes and audio recordings that have been released to the media. Zarqawi is also a longtime friend and ally to Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks in New York City and Washington D.C, and may know where Bin Laden is currently located. Zarqawi has committed several violent crimes that vary from murder to hate crimes against many different religious denominations and political figures. Abu Musab al- Zarqawi also has bounty on his head that is 25 million dollars from the United States government. In part, Zarqawi justified his crimes because he wants his Muslim religion to the dominant religion of the world and the power that comes with being a prophet of Allah.

While Abu Musab al- Zarqawi has made many audio and video recordings however most of them are in Arabic. In one recent recording (that was translated into English) he said "Let your swords be full of the crusaders' blood.” Which means that Zarqawi that wishes that they will continue this so called crusade of killing. He later on says that "To the brigades of martyrs, I say, 'Go with the blessing of God. Attack their convoys and checkpoints. Turn their nights into days and their cold into hellfire" In that quote he even calls these terrorist killers martyrs and wants them to continue to attack the American soldiers that are in the Middle East.

As a result of the crimes, the Al- Qaeda crime organization benefited and they’re power increased along with the fear against them. Additionally, with all of the media attention that in the United States increases there intimidation. The Al-Qaeda organization also grew in stature as a major terrorist force in the Middle East .Throughout history, terrorism groups all across the world benefit when events like this happen, because of the fear generated increases their power.

Terrorism and power struggles have appeared throughout literature and is especially popular in British Literature. George Orwell’s classic novel “1984” presents us with the vision of a power hungry government that faces terrorism by there own rule. In Orwell’s story they bomb there own cities and towns as a way to frighten the citizens so they will depend on that government. It presented us with a prelude to what modern day terrorism would be similar to with all of the secret organizations in the book.

Abu Musab al- Zarqawi, the infamous terrorist leader, impacts all of us with his terrorism acts and the fearful environment that it creates. Zarqawi wants his religion to dominant throughout the world and for the other religions to come to an end. He justifies his terrorist activities by believing that they benefit his ideology attention that is brought on them. Terrors campaigning and power are themes that are present in British Literature and are immensely popular. Abu Musab al- Zarqawis need for power is a reoccurring theme throughout history and in fictional stories that seems to never get old, whether it is shown through real life experiences or surreal dreams.








































Throughout the English Language history, some words have been adapted while others have been dismissed. In this striving language, words have been crafted and changed, in both spelling and definition in only a few short years, to satisfy our rotating necessities. Words are an interesting tool that is brought up with almost everything we do in daily lives. The word “hot” has been changed numerous times to fill the needs of the people who speak the English language. This prominent word has been evolved and changed frequently. The word “hot” has been essential to the growth of our English Language because it has shown us how old words can be changed so rapidly and frequent in our fast pace language.

According to Merriam- Webster’s Dictionary Online, the adjective “hot” (pronounced ‘hät) is “a: having a relatively high temperature b: capable of giving a sensation of heat or of burning, searing, or scalding c: having heat in a degree exceeding normal body heat.” The American Heritage Dictionary describes the word “hot” as “1a. Having or giving off heat; capable of burning. b. Being at a high temperature. 2. Being at or exhibiting a temperature that is higher than normal or desirable 3. Causing a burning sensation, as in the mouth; spicy.” In addition to that those three it provides up with twelve more ways to describe this word. WordNet describes this word as: “used of physical heat; having a high or higher than desirable temperature or giving off heat or feeling or causing a sensation of heat or burning; 2: characterized by violent and forceful activity or movement; very intense.” It is often used in slang to depict something that is good or even bad or, sometimes it describes a persons physical features and your feeling directed towards those physical features. According to Urban Dictionary.com “hot” is described as “One who is: a. gorgeous, b. pretty, c. beautiful, and d. cute.” That definition was sculpted probably in the 21st Century during the hip-hop scene’s arrival to the United States. This was possibly shown through there lyrics or it could have just caught on like other catchy slang words. The word hot is one of the most essential words in the English Language because it’s definition and the numerous times that we use it for its regular meaning and even sometimes the slang usage .

While I was browsing through the Oxford English Dictionary I saw many different definitions, and three in particular stood out to me. The first one that is now obsolete (not used in that way now) is “hot in spur; eager.” I found this fitting and I would consider using it but most people wouldn’t understand me since it is not used like this anymore. It was used in the middle ages “to show properties of elements, planets, and compounds.” Nonetheless, this usage is not used anymore. One definition of the word “hot” that I felt fit right was “producing a high temperature on a material.” I think that this was the best fitting definition because that is mostly how the general public uses it in our daily life.

I interviewed ten people to get there perspective on the word “hot.” The data that was collected had an audience that had ages that ranged from ten to twenty-five and this survey included both male and female participants. When first asked the definition of the word hot, four said they though of temperature, five said that it pertains to the looks of a certain person, and one person said that it reminds them of fire. Then I asked my participants to put my word into sentences, and some examples were: You are hot, it’s hot outside, the stove is hot, and yo those kicks are hot. I asked a supplementary question that asked you to think of a one word association with the word “hot”, I got such responses as sex, fire, burn, warm, and cold. By conducting this survey it tells us two things, one is that depending on the age and gender you will get different meanings for this popular word, and two is that is shows how this word is both used in regular usage and in slang.

In addition to my previous survey, I also asked three bilingual people’s opinion on the word “hot.” These persons in my survey had to have learned the English language as a secondary language. The questions that were asked in the survey were there definition of it, how much difficulty it required in the learning process, and when approximately, did they learn this word. My first participant Daniel Gutierrez, who first learned Spanish, said that his definition would be “the opposite of cold” and he said that this word was particularly easy because of the picture analogies he was shown. My Uncle Frank, who first spoke Italian, said his definition was “high temperature” and he said it was easy to learn because of the use of senses factor. My third participant, My Aunt Elizabeth, who also learned Italian first, said that her definition of the word “hot” was “to have a high temperature to touch” and she said that this word was hard to learn because she did not understand the concept at first. All of my participants learned this word at an early age, probably because it is so important due to its regular use in our language.

Although the word hot is used in modern English, it has deep rotes into Middle English. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word hot was used first in 1235 by Leg Kath. This was used in some sort of cooking manual that was written in Middle English. It was also used in 1688 by the famous Author Robert Holmes. The word hot was also used by the famous William Shakespeare in his epic tale of Julius Caesar. The word hot filled up nine pages in the Oxford English Dictionary because it has such vivid history and is used to frequently. Each year the word “hot” is used a plethora of times in famous articles, novels, and movies. In factuality, it would take an enormous amount of time to calculate all of the recent movies that have came out and featured the word “hot” in it. In addition to the word “hot”, it has endings that change its meaning like hot-blooded, red-hot, and hot-water. All of those terms differentiate the meaning of hot when the endings and words before or after are placed there.

The word “hot” is also used numerous times in songs, books, and newspaper articles. One example of a song is the rapper Nelly’s song “Hot is here” which was an extremely popular summer song. The book and motion picture “The Hot Zone” is famous for describing the horrible Ebola virus and has been nominated for many awards for both the novel and movie. On March 14, 2006 the Boston Globe used the word in “Indonesia’s Merapi volcano spews steam, hot ash” to describe this event of one of the most active volcanoes eruption. The next day the Boston Globe also used the word in “Eva Longoria tops Maxim’s Hot 100 list” to describe her stunned reaction in her climbs of popularity in the United States. The famous news source CNN used the word “hot” in “Hot on the Trail of Angelina Jolie. It was used to describe that cat and mouse game that is played with paparazzi and the celebrities, and how they will do most anything to get the shot or video they need.

In the English Language’s history some words have stood out and adapted to take on the different meanings and sometimes even spellings that assigned to them. A great example of that is the word “hot.” It has been around since Middle English, and is still used today regularly both regular and slang. The survey that I did showed how much I appreciate that word and the different definitions that it has allowed us to use. It has been a significant aid in helping this striving language in their quest to adapt there words to our modern world. This word has been used by Robert Holmes and even the famous playwright William Shakespeare. This word is often used in famous speeches, movies, and books in our regular life but we do not notice it anymore. I think that this popular word needs to be appreciated more because we use it so often and sometimes take for granted all of its meanings and adaptation that it has been forced to go through throughout the centuries.