English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  

Dear Mr. Crawford,

My name is Mark Elliott. I am writing for a chance for you to come and speak to the Catholic Memorial High School body in Boston, Massachusetts. I am a sophomore this year. We are currently studying British Literature and your name appeared in our text. We are working our way to Beowolf, studying famous writers and poets over the years.

Your work interested me because I felt that you were talking directly to me in some of your extraordinary pieces. My favorite was titled, “Tower the Close”. In this poem, to me it says that we need to enjoy our life while we still have it. It also says that we are not going to be around forever.

“…No one survives himself, and none can so Reclaim the sentiment of youth that he Would like a fallen leaf re-budded grow On the bare bough of Joy’s morality…”

These few lines made me realize that we have no second chance at life. We need to continue living it with our best effort to succeed. What were your thoughts when writing this poem? Who was your inspiration?

 The pattern of your poetry stood out to me more than anything else. The way you kept 14 lined stanzas and the way, you finished each poem with a double rhyme. These poems look so thought out. It is good to see that there are poets that care about their work. How long did it take you to write one poem? Did they just come to you naturally?

Your poems have a deep meaning that only you as the author truly understand the meaning of your words. Pease come and share your work with us. Give us the chance to hear some of your great work first hand. I hope that you consider coming to Catholic Memorial High School as a guest of honor. By coming, you will give us a chance to spread your poetry with our families and friends. We will understand where you were coming from for several pieces of your work. Thank you for taking the time to read this invitation.


Mark Elliott












People define the work of Robert Tannahill as "gentle, artless lyrics set to traditional music.” He was born in Paisley, Scotland around the time of 1774. Within his life of only thirty-six years, he managed to write poetry and songs that are still remembered today. One of his best-known works is the song called, “Jessie, the Flower of Dunblane.

The song talks about how he was searching for Jessie whom he had loved at one time in his life. The song states very clearly that we cannot go on with life until we resolve our pain that was caused by love. In another point of view, you can see that he is telling us that our lives run on the desire to find our other-half and to live happy with them, but when we find them, we could lose them just the same. This song is one of the most adored love songs because it has so many different meanings to everyone.

During this period when Robert Tannahill wrote this song people in Scotland were extremely culture orientated. The song influenced people’s lives because everyone had there own “Jessie” they were searching to achieve. The song shows us that life needs a purpose and that without a purpose living is pointless. People loose sight on the actions that use to give them pleasure, such as dancing, singing, or friends.

 “The sports o’ the city seem’d foolish and vain” This line shows us that without Jessie in his life Robert Tannahill lost his interest in sports. What he use to get pleasure out of watching now bores him and he finds them foolish to watch because he can’t get his mind off of “Jessie” Robert is trying to tell people that life was once great before he strived to get his love back. Now he is searching and searching in hope for one more second with her. People need to appreciate life and enjoy it because you only get one shot at making yourself happy.