English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  

Dear Mr. Muldoon, my name in Andrew Heim and I’m a sophomore at Catholic Memorial High School, in Boston Massachusetts. I’m sending you an invitation to come to our class and read, for us, some of your poems. Poetry is both captivating and mysterious, and to hear a poem straight from the poet themselves would be an awesome experience. I have read some of your poems, and there excellent. One in particular that I liked is titled, “The More a Man Has the More a Man Wants.” Once they collected his smithereens. He doesn’t quite add up. Their shy a foot, and a calf. Which stems. From his left shoe like a severely. Pruned-back shrub. I like this specific poem because it speaks true about things that all people can relate to, which to me means timeless. From my point of view this is a man who has gathered up what he thinks he needs, and it amounts to less then what he really wants. He has all that he wants but he still can’t fill that void inside himself that only simplicity can fill.

One of the most interesting parts of your poems are the subjects. Many are about the conflict in Northern Ireland, and when the subject is something close to the author that produces great poetry, like Kerry Slides, and To Ireland, I. When I read poems in class even if its for an assignment it still interests me because poetry is such a personal, and thought invoking form of literature, and your work Having won a dozen awards just adds to the list of reason why you would be a great speaker for my English Class. In the last couple of years English has been a bore to me but this year I really want to read because British Literature is so interesting, from Beowulf to 1984 to Seamus Heaney, to you. If you do decide to come then it will give us something to look forward to beside reading from the textbook. You would also gain an opportunity to meet with some students who are eager to learn and read new literature. Thats why I think you would be the perfect speaker for our 10th grade, British literature class. Thank You for reading my letter. Sincerly, Andrew Heim








































Atlanta, Georgia, James Sullivan is accused of hiring and man to kill his 19 year old wife, Lita McClinton. His wife had filed for divorce and was asking for “1 million dollars, an Atlanta townhouse, a Mercedes, alimony and jewelry.” James Sullivan, a Boston native, was on the FBI’s most wanted list for this murder, until he was captured in 2002 in Thailand. Money was the ultimate motive in this murder, but power also played a major role.

The defense said “Jim Sullivan did not murder his wife or hire anyone to murder his wife.” James Sullivan had been involved in many other “rumors” and the defense said this was just another one of those wild rumors. Although its suspicious that he went on a “world tour” just as he was indicted on state murder charges. First Palm Beach, then Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela, then Thailand. He finally settled in Thailand and married a local woman and bought a condominium.

Beside the suspicions there is not physical evidence. But this crime, if he is convicted, was definitely motivated by power. His wife was suing for a million dollars, a house, a car and jewelry. He was obviously powerless in stopping her. The only way to solve this problem, for him, was to kill her (if he is in fact guilty). The fact that he didn’t commit the murder with his own hands, proves that he really did want power, not only over his wife but the man who committed the crime.

James Sullivan was Desperate for power. He wanted it enough that he would kill for it. This crime of power is prevalent in British literature. One prefect example is the novel, 1984 . In this book the government kidnaps citizens and tortures them for power. Why do they need power just because. They torture, kill and keep the public in fear for the sake of it. They need this power to control the masses and without that power they are nothing.

There are hundreds if not thousands of examples where crimes of power are committed in British literature. British authors seem to be very talented in storied about power and the lust for power. The lust for power as always been part of the human experience, and where there has been someone in a position of power there is someone who will do anything for that position. From the time of ancient Rome to modern day America power has played a vital role in our live and our governments. On the plus side, jealousy and envy have given us some of the best plays and stories in Brisish literature.

























There are three things that separate humans from animals. The ability to think outside of ourselves, the ability to use tools and language. All are extremely important but without language we would not be able to communicate with each other in complex way. The English language is the best example of the complexity of language. Hundreds of thousands of words that mean different thing means infinite ways of expressing ourselves. Word can cause wars and end wars. They can cause us to feel love, hate, joy, and sorrow, and they give us infinite of ways of expressing ourselves. A word such as veto, has a strong meaning in our society today. But it was also used by Roman tributes two thousand years ago. This word isn’t new to me but I learned that the word veto held much more meaning in ancient Rome then it does nowadays. This word veto is an important word that have affected our history as humans in a positive way.

A word such as veto has a strong history. Starting in ancient Rome with the tribute, who was a local man who was chosen by the plebeians, or the common people in Rome. He had the responsibility of preventing the Patricians, or the upper class, from raising the taxes to high. All the Roman senators where Patricians so the tribune was the only way the average person in Rome could affect Roman laws. He would have a copy of the bill sent to him and he would stop whatever it was that he was doing and march down to the Senate. He would walk in and either put it down and walk out or say veto, I forbid, and walk out. Once he said veto, the law was canceled. The word veto gave some power to the low and middle class of ancient Roman society.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary says that veto means: “a power vested in a chief executive to prevent permanently or temporarily the enactment of measures passed by a legislature. The American Heritage dictionary of the English language defines veto as: “The vested power or constitutional right of one branch or department of government to refuse approval of measures proposed by another department, especially the power of a chief executive to reject a bill passed by the legislature and thus prevent or delay its enactment into law.” The popular dictionary.com define veto as: An authoritative prohibition or rejection of a proposed or intended act.” Although its may have changed a little for the simple, I forbid, it still means to stop. Vetar is the present tense of veto which is the verb, to forbid.

The most influential dictionary in the world, the Oxford English Dictionary, defines veto as: “the word by which the Roman tribunes of the people opposed measures of the senate or actions of the magistrates.” The first published usage of the word veto was in 1706 by Samuel Hearne in this sentence from line 213 of collection: “Letters for degrees…vetoed by proctors.” Wow, that was the birth of veto in the English language; Cool. The next usage of it in the English was by Ht. Martineau in 1837 in Social America; Mr. Monroe vetoed the bill authorizing the collection of tolls for the repair of the Cumberland road. The third usage of it was in 1861 by May in Constitutional History; Measures passed by the assembly were refused by the council or vetoed by the governor.

According to my survey 30% of all people associated the word “veto” with the Romans, but 100% of people understood what it meant in the United States government today. When asked, Stephen Cunniffe said that the words forbidden, and president can to mind when he heard the word veto. This is how Hilbert Smith uses veto in a sentence: “Either Congress or the president will veto the bill.” Christine Smith First thought of stop, and Rome. Steve Maguire, a fellow classmate said that it has to do with power and control. Another person I asked, T.J. Hutton thought of, “I forbid.” He used it in a sentence, “L.D. denied my request for an autograph, even though I begged and pleaded.” Another student, Chris Kerrigan, says that he corresponded veto with the Roman Tributes of ancient Rome.

When used in literature it did not have many varying usages. The authors, and poets used it as its was defined; as to forbid, or reject. Emily Dickinson, although not a British author still a very influential author, used this word in one of her poems, titled Part Three: Love; “…here in vision and in veto.” William Makepeace Thackeray uses veto it the popular magazine Vanity Fair; “…On George’s intercourse with Amelia he put an instant veto…”A man named John Baldock used the word in a different way, in my opinion, in the following headline from a article title Social Policy, it reads; “Managing the Family: Productivity, Scheduling and the male veto.” The word has the same meaning but it was used in a way that I have not seen before. He uses as the power a male has in a family to forbid or deny.

You may wonder how foreign language speakers learn English words, I ask three people for who English is a Second Language, Michael Cortez said that its was easy because he speaks Spanish, which is a Romantic language like Latin. And veto is a veto derived from Latin. He first thought of power and Italy when he heard the word. He used it in a sentence; The president vetoed the law. Silvareo Conte learned Italian growing up and veto was easy because Italian arose from Latin. He knew that it means to forbid. When he heard the word, forbid and Tribune came to mind. He used it in a sentence; The governor vetoed all of the bills brought forth by the townspeople. Another person I spoke to was Shaun Millian, he grew up learning Creole which is part French. He said it wasn’t hard to learn to pronounce it because he learned English along with Creole as he grew up but once he learned what it meant it was easy to use in a sentence. The first two words that came to mind when he heard the word were government, and president. He did use it in a sentence; My mother vetoed my request for some money.”

English is the most influential language in the entire world. Probably because of its complexity and the shear mass of it, it plain enough to see that the language has contributed to the positive growth of this world. It allows us to be more unique in the way we write, speak and express ourselves. Veto itself has contributed in the ancient times of Rome, and in modern day. Veto is part of something much larger, much greater, much more extraordinary, the English language.