English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  

Dear Ms. Sarah Maguire, My name is Joel Maloney and I attend Catholic Memorial High School in West Roxbury, Ma. In English ten British Literature, we are studying contemporary British authors and your name came up on a famous British authors website. I have read that you have lived in West London and my uncle lives in North Hampton, London. I also understand that you are currently the writing fellow at the school of Oriental and African studies at the University of London and run poetry translation workshops. It is intriguing that you were first a gardener and relate your stories to that profession. I particularly enjoy that you have done readings all over the U.K., and I was wondering if you could come visit my school (Catholic Memorial) and read some of your works such as "Breathless" to my fellow classmates. I believe they would enjoy listening to the unique, emotion capturing poems that have been recognized and admired by many other people.

Just the opening sentence of "Breathless" for example, captures your feelings saying," Your heart thumps- as if she were already at your door. Or as if expecting her- all the birds in the midday sky arrive to clamor at your window." You can relate that to everyday occurrences such as when you're at a girlfriend's house and meeting the parents for the first time. Even the way you use the settings around the person is very descriptive such as when you said," all the birds in the midday sky arrive and clamor at your window", gives you a feeling of pressure as all of these surroundings are watching you. That is what I want my classmates to understand and poems such as these can help us when we have to do assignments in poetry with the need of in depth descriptions.

It would be great for the actual author to read to the class, because many other students may not know how enjoyable your poems are to read. It is disappointing that none of your works were published in the book we are studying from, but I was lucky enough to research and find a preview of some of your works online. Reading them only made me want to read more, which is why I will go to the local library and hopefully buy several of them. Another thing is, I believe that if you read some of your works to my classmates, they may be convinced into buying some of your works as well!I look forward to seeing you and if not, wish the best of luck to you and your career as a talented author.

Best regards, Joel Maloney
































A Scottish composer and violinist named William McGibbon wrote the song "Thro the Wood Laddie". He studied music in London for tewnty years and was principal violinist with Edinburgh Musical Society Orchestra. McGibbon wrote this song around 1765. Itis proven that this song had a great affect on British culture.

There are possible reasons for why this song was written.One section of the lyrics says,"O Sandy why leaves thou thy Nelly to mourn? Thy presence could safe me, when nothing can please me. Now I sigh on the banks of the burn, or thro the wood,laddie until thou return". Clearly, this is about a person who had a close relationship with someone(most-likely McGibbon), and is asking fo the person to return. Just the simple meaning of this song could not just have an influence on the people of the 1700's, but us as well if we could get past the different type of music.

British radio stations may play this song once in a blue moon and it actually appears in classical CD singles sold today such as the Vanessa-Mae's classical album 1 as well as several others. From a survey of several freinds in my neighborhood such as Christian Valdez who said, "this song doesn't move me and has no affect on my life" and Cliff Jones who said, "this music is noise to my ears", generally proves that this song is not famous in the year of 2005.

It may be simple to state that this song, particularly type of music is not populartoday, but William McGibbon was greatly adored by his works back then. All his music was enjoyable to the ears of the 17th century. This teaches us that music had a deeper affect on the people because they used it to relate to their own personal lives.




























On October 23, 1989, Carol Stuart a pregnant, white lawyer was shot in the head in the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston. Mission Hill used to be a racially mixed section of the city, with a high rate of drug users and crime. Her husband Chuck Stuart, a fur store manager, who supposedly had been shot in the gut by the "same maniac", says Stuart, called for EMTs over his car phone. Luckily the people shooting the TV show 911 were riding through Boston that night, and were there as soon as the ambulance was. The nation got some great footage of a bleeding man in blue jeans being put into an ambulance. The phone call Chuck made to the dispatcher was also broadcasted nation wide. That night, Carol died of her injuries after her baby was delivered. The baby has immediate seizures because of blood oxygen lossage. When police came, he had convinced them that the murder was not because of him, although it was. This crime was motivated by power because the wife killed had much money and great possessions. He did not just want them for greed, but for a better life for him and his brothers.

This crime started to become more interesting when a suspected new culprit appeared. It began when Stuart claimed as he was interviewed by crime scene investigators, that he was shot by, "a tall black man with long hair". Unfortunately, there was a man who fit the exact description who was caught robbing a store several hours later. His name was Jamal Reed and within a few hours he was arrested and charged with the murder of two people, the wife and unborn baby. Stuart at this time had everyone fooled and thought everything was on his side. Jamal reed to the best of his abilities, tried to defend himself saying," there's not enough proof that it was me". Appearently, he was the best suspect at the time because he already had a bad criminal background. On the other hand, Chuck began to feel powerful every minute, although he still had to deal with his own gunshot wounds.

You can say that the works of Stuart with the murdering of his wife is similar to the actions of Mark Anthony with Julius Caesar. That is because both killings had to do with the craving for more power, but they each had their own personal reasons. This case went on for a few more weeks until Reed's lawyer was able to prove that he was not the murderer. That was because after several investigations, testimonies, and etc., it was definite he was not the culprit. When he was freed of all charges, the cops finally began to think outside of the box and became more suspicious of Chuck Stuart.

Several weeks later, Stuart began to get nervous as he was interviewed various times about the death of his wife and unborn child. When he was asked certain questions such as, "who really killed your wife?" he would try to evade the question by faking his emotions and changing the subject. He was eventually brought into custody. Time went on and he started to get stressed out, which led him to becoming more open. He would say things like, "it wasn't me, but you can take me" and "maybe it was me, I must be going crazy". That was an unintelligent move and changed the way many people viewed him.

In general, it is hard for any person to commit a murder and live without remorse. Charles several weeks later committed suicide due to depression, selfishness, and guilt. It is hard to listen to this story and realize what type of crazy people live in this world, but in reality, justice will always be served in some way in the end.
























In our world, languages have a great impact on many cultures and seems as if there as many languages as stars in the sky. the English language, both unique and complicated has an incredible amount of words that are used in many ways for much reasons. Thinking outside the box the word, "word" has to have a great significance first appearing in 900. Since a word is something that is said, it has both helped and hurt world progress depending on usage.

In the year 2006, this word is provenly used in a variety of ways due to a recent survey. For example, the first thought that came to Sheryl Maloney with this word was "languages", since they are made up of words. On the other hand, Stephen Maloney thought of "Microsoft Word", which is a totally different point of view. As for usage of words, people have actually revolutionized the way of speech and and feelings of others. Words contain curses or swears, which are both disrespectful and hurtful to others emotionally. In most cases, they have caused many problems between friens and enemies. They say words can be as deadly as weopons. Although, of course there is a good side. A good friend of mine Bao Nguyen explained that "words aren't just used to insult other people because they are used in what many people enjoy like music, books, poetry, and a whole bunch more". Another friend Adrian Valdez said that "words are good because you use them to talk and express your feelings".

With these surveys, it is quite evident that a "word" can effect people in several ways. How about in foreign languages? Perhaps words are used differently and have a greater effect than the English language. Not according to Nicholas Tran (Vietnamese) who claims that "words mean the same thing they do in English". That remark is very interesting because it is similar to two other foreign language speakers. Cliff Parfait said, "in Creole words are used the same way, just in Creole". Adrian Valdez said, "words aren't different in Spanish, but we use them in a whole different way". These people say words are used in the same way in English, but the English language has mor than one meaning for "word".

Three sources I've used which are the American Heritage Dictionary, and two different versions of Webster's Dictionary each give a different definition of "word". According to the American Heritage Dictionary , a "word" is "something that is said". Webster's Dictionary says, "a speech, sound, or series of speech sounds that symbolizes and communicates a meaning without being divisible into smaller units capable of independant use". Lastly, the Webster's Ninth Dictionary says, "the act of speaking or making verbal communication". Each source has a different definition with few similar meanings to them.

The Oxford English Dictionary gives many similar definitions that are mostly used as well. For example, the very first definition is "things said, or something said. Speech, talk, discourse, utterence; with possessive; what a person mentioned said or says". Another definition is "in various obsolete or casual uses (sometimes speech as distinguished from writing).

The word "word" has certainly been used several times over the years, which makes the Oxford English Dictionary an important source. The OED tells us how famous writers used "word" overtime and one of the first authors to use it was Cynewulf in "Juliana" which says, "o pas word sind sop". Also, there was Tindel in 1526 who wrote, "the wordes that I speake unto you are sprete and lyfe". The most interesting use od "word" is found in Beowulf saying, "Daer waes helpa hleator, hyln swynsade word waeron wyn sume".

Over the course of 1,106 years, it is certain that the word "word" had been used differently or has a definition not used anymore. The OED gives us many examples such as a "word", "designating a thing or person", "being of the mind", "making a proposal", and "speaking briefly at great length". Examples of these dead usages once used in Literature are with Milton in "Herod" stating, "cast his eye....upon Heriodias...... and dust make words of marrying her". In this sentence, "word" is used to be meant as a propasal to a woman. Another example is used by Shakespreare saying, "He words me Gyrles, he words me, that I should be not noble to my selfe". Word" in this case is used to "ply or urge with words" according to the OED.

With all research done on one word in the English language, it is definate that all other 799,999 words have as much effect on the world as this one does. According to the effect "word" has on the English language, both good and bad, gives me the idea that the official language of this country should be determined by the people and how they use the words in it. With "Word" just being one of the uncountable stars in the galaxy, a person can only wonder how long it will survive in the universe.