English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  

Dear Mr. O‘Brien,

My name Is Kyle Tobin and I am a student at Catholic Memorial High School in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. I am writing you today because I am in a 10th grade English class and have just finished reading about contemporary British authors. I strongly admire your work and dedication to writing. Unfortunately our class was not able to read some of your famous poems like the recent award winning “Downriver” and the well-known “The Deregulated Muse”. Therefore I am cordially inviting you to spend a day at my school to discuss your unreadable poems with my fellow classmates.

My family heritage can be traced back to the British colonies, of Dublin, Ireland. I am very proud of this heritage and I am looking forward to meeting a man such as yourself from similar background. My mother has a cousin, Father Oliver, whom is a priest in County Cork. My grandparents decided to move to America for a better life for their children, so that is why I am here. I have never been to Ireland but I love the heritage deeply.

As evidenced by your popularity and prosperity your works are very interesting and respected. Your trophy shelf consists of numerous awards stretching from 1979 to 2001, showing that you have obviously not lost your writers touch. I feel that only a few writers can reach the depth you achieved in the poem “Downriver”. My favorite line and the reason why I like your writings so much is, “The sultry back lane smells of fruit and shit / While everybody’s binbags wait…”. I like this line because it describes you as a person you describe things so vividly I feel like I am there. Your work is inspirational to your readers and give hope to aspiring writers.

Our class and school will benefit if you come. However if you cannot grace us with your presence you would have still graced us with your words. It would be a great honor to meet the man behind the words. The journey to our school will be covered for and you can contact us whenever possible. I do hope you get this letter and decide for the best. Until then I look forward to your future works.

Best Regards,

Student of Catholic Memorial, Kyle Tobin



























“The Mountains of Pomeroy” was a famous song written in 1869 by both a doctor and song writer George Sigerson. He was born in Strabane, County Tyrone located in the country of Ireland. George was a smart person and a well-known doctor. Born in 1839 during the time theatre ruled daily life he wrote this song based on a famous play called “Reynardine”. “Reynardine” was a respected play and people went to plays as philosophy, a belief accepted as authoritative by the group of people living during this time period.

The mystery still lives today and so doesn’t the song. “The Mountains of Pomeroy” has been reproduced by Eoghan MacAa’ulin and his Irish Folk Song band. They cover many old Irish songs, just showing how famous this song once was. It is on a compact disc called the “Clare Hills.” I thought the mystery was easy to discover but it maybe just another Romeo and Juliet but people back then focused on George’s song as a way to discover the great mystery.

Daily life in the late 1800’s was based on theatre. Philosophy of this time period was theatre. Everything you did was evolved around going to watch a play after daily chores. All the rich folks could go to these plays daily and think nothing of it, just another play to go to today. This song was believed to know the mystery of “Reynardine” a mystery that still lives today. The song “Mountains of Pomeroy” was believed to know about this mystery seen through the eyes of George Sigerson.

The song talks about Reynardine and how she would walk past the mountains of Pomeroy and how a man would sit a top them and watch her pass everyday. "Fear not, fear not, sweetheart," he cried, "Fear not the foe for me. No chain shall fall, whate'er betide, On the arm that would be free! Oh, leave your cruel kin and come When the lark is in the sky; And it's with my gun I'll guard you, On the mountains of Pomeroy. This shows the love connection these two formed just by walking by each other everyday, its like a Cinderella story. This love connection that was seen during the play but not mentioned in real life.

I asked a couple of people first about the play “Reynardine” and second about the song, finally about the relationship. I am showing you two conversations I had on this matter. I asked, “Do you know the mystery of the play “Reynardine?” He said, “I learned about the play at my middle school and Reynardine was fine in the movie we saw. But no I don’t know the mystery.” Then I asked, “Have you heard the song The Mountains of Pomeroy?” He answered, “ Never.” Finally I asked, “Do you know of any relation between the play and the song?” His final answer was, “Maybe if I heard the song but I never have and I saw the movie a long time ago, so no.” Now my grandmother who grew up in Ireland a long time ago gave me some good answers. Her three answers were, “Yes my mother use to be obsessed with that play, she even thought Reynardine was real.” I was in shock I finally found what is thought to be the mystery. I guess the mystery was if Reynardine was a true maid and fell in love with a man on top of a mountain. She also had the song on an old record but the record was so old it didn’t work, just my luck.






















On Saturday, February 4th, 2006 a cold blooded killer was taken off this earth. Jacob Robida had killed himself after losing all his power. He was surrounded by the Gassville, Arkansas Police Department after a 14 mile car chase, and took his own life after killing “the love of his life” and officer James Sell in cold blood.

Jacob Robida was a very confused young adult. He hated many people and found power by hurting these people. He was on the run for shooting up a gay bar in New Bedford called Puzzles Bar. After the shooting he went home and fled to Arkansas leaving his mother a disturbing note saying he had to, “go out by his own means.” This tells me he doesn’t really care about his own life and to him power meant it be either free or dead. Other things they have found in his New Bedford residence was two bumper stickers saying “I dress this way to scare your kids” and “My day is not complete until I’ve terrified a complete stranger.

Jacob Robida reminds me of Lady Macbeth. She kills herself after having something to do in the murder of Duncan and Banquo. They both correspond to one another in the way that power can make people kill people. The greediness of power made them act the way they did. Robida killed himself because his power was thrown away when he was surrounded. Lady Macbeth killed herself because her power was gone as well.

This was indeed a crime of power, Jacob Robida’s life was to hurt other even if it was the last thing he did in his life, and ironically it was. He injured four and killed 3, including himself. There was no reason to kill the cop for stopping him on a routine traffic stop, there was no reason to take “the love of his life” Jennifer Bailey captive then kill her, there was no reason to shoot up a gay bar, and yes, there was no reason to kill himself just because he lost all his power.