English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  

Good Day, Mr. Roy Fisher

I know that it’s not everyday that your get a letter from a person on the other half of the world, but today is that rare, sunny, 75 degree day in the middle December. Sorry to pounce on you without introducing myself, my name is Michael O’Neal and I am a student at Catholic Memorial in Boston, MA. I am not that interested with English but you poems are creative and is something that gets me thinking after I read it, two or three times. I was just wanted to ask if you like to come to my school and talk about some of your work but before you give your answer let me tell you a little more about me. I am more than just an average student at C.M, I play many sports and like to read, that’s why it would be a big boost if you were to talk about your work. My English teacher asked us to write a letter to any one poet you like and I choose you just because of some of the reviews I heard from your work.

I notice that you like to write poems and wrote a batch of books, most of which that titles are very interesting for example “Ten Interiors with Various Figures” and “Scenes from the Alphabet”. Majority of the time when I look books have titles that confuse me I usually don’t read them, although I would like to read any of those books I have not had the time nor the patients to deal with such complexity. But one book I really did like was “Side Effects”. one line that really stood out was “ When death cuffed me across the face, I didn’t turn the other cheek, but flinched, and from one corner of an eye, the wide field’s blur just shaded into night.

Now mountains come at me askance. Along a road home’s snaking curves, earth’s rim, its margin’s hazed by a dusk sun–flared through cloud–wisps trailed above the tree fringe, frayed, and now in silhouette.

I keep an eye on it, blood streaming in the firmament, broadcasting tower and Ferris wheel glinting at a distance. Though it’s almost five o’clock, the light of day still lingers. I keep an eye on it, twisting my neck round that bit more to the right.

It’s like wiping the smile off one side of your face. That slice of death still stares me down from any bathroom mirror. In it, a temple and part–unlined forehead don’t live up to who they are – as if I had no strains or stresses, time couldn’t leave its mark on me, as if a half a life weren’t over.” This was terribly, calmly and smoothly said that is a reason I like your work. Sometimes when I read stuff about death and scary stuff I tend to read on to see what will happen next. When I do that with yours it leads us to a whole different scenario, sometimes it’s okay but the other 75% of the time it very confusing.

I read that you went to grammar school before you got your degree in British art, and later became the head of Drama and English at Boresly College. Good for you, I would like to try reading more of your poem don’t stop writing, and I hope that you would take the time to come to my school anytime this school year 05-06.

Yours Truly, Michael O’Neal





























“Welcome to Atlanta” by Ludacris and Jurmain Durpi, Made a lot of people believe that Atlanta was the best place in the United States of America. Many say that this song but Atlanta on the map because it showed everywhere else about the culture of Atlanta. “Galway Bay” by Bling Crosby is a cultural song that put Galway Bay on the map in Ireland, the same way “Welcome to Atlanta” did. Galway Bay might be a song that everyone likes, but the song is just something more for the people in Ireland. Along with people this song brought to Ireland a diverse pack of people, foods and cultures making Galway Bay unique. “It’s a nice song!” said Gram Madden. This song is settle yet it will have you thinking about the beautiful scenery of Galway Bay.

Between North Clare and Galway you will find Galway Bay in Ireland. Before the song “Galway Bay” not a lot of people knew about or went to Galway Bay. Since the song came out in the 1870’s Galway Bay has become one of Ireland’s greatest attractions. The line in Song that made it classic was “Watch the sun go down on Galway Bay.” Not only the line but the whole song made many tourists come and live in Ireland near the wonderful Galway Bay. The song made the land even more peaceful to live. From this song came many cultures that mixed it Galway’s and the Irish culture.

In conclusion “Galway Bay” made Galway Bay what it is today. Many tourists think that this is the best in the world. Here people can fish and eat wonderful exotic foods. “Galway Bay” is the song that made the place.


























In Philippines, on February 27th of 2006, Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim and the National Democratic Front of Philippines plan to overthrow President Gloria Macapagal and the government. Danilo Lim and his members tried to plan to seize political power through illegal actions but have yet to succeed. These kinds of problems have been a huge problem in the Philippines since the start 2004.

The National Democratic Front of Philippines (NDFP) are trying to take over the government, because of way foreign funding and trade are being dealt with. Another reason they did this because the NDFP felt that the people of the Philippines were being mistreated. The NDFP have been planning this for many years now, because this would be a big change for the Philippines and the government. Many people ask way to take over her power at this time they answered by saying, “This is the only way we could seize state power, knowing that we could not win an democratic election”. Not only is the NDFP trying to take away the power but some military also want President Gloria Macapagal out of office. The U.S had no thoughts yet on what is going on in the Philippines.

In the story “The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain” by Charles Dickens says "I have feared her, from the first moment’ he murmured to himself, ‘to meet her. There is a steady quality of goodness in her, that I dread influence. . .’” This saying sums up what the people of NDFP and most the people in Philippines think of the horrible President Macapagal. On March 23, 2006 Danlio Lim was arrested. He was charged with violation of three Articles of War. After he was arrested he said “. . . We expect more thing to come, but believe we snapped their momentum”.

In conclusion Brig. Gen. and the people of NDFP had to take over the political power of President Macapagal because of foreign lack trade and the way the people were being treated. Unlike many powerful leaders like Rev. Martin Luther King, the NDFP believe that violence is the way to take over power in a country. What Charles Dickens Dickens wrote was exactly what the Filipinos wanted to say, only in English.

































English is just one word, but it means so much more than what it really is. Many immigrants that come to this country have a hard time understanding the language. I know a friend of mine whose parents were immigrants, they have been in the U.S for seven years, and I can barely understand them. It is a privilege to understand the English language, yet there are many words that many Americans don’t use like “dilemma”. Dilemma is not that old of a word, it was published only 350 years ago, in 1656 by S.H.. Dilemma may not mean more than a problem, but there is more than just one way to use it. I don’t know why people don’t use this word so much more, I mean it’s a great deal to use, let me explain.

In the “Webster’s New World Dictionary” dilemma is defined as “any situation requiring a choice between two unpleasant alternatives”. For example, if you had to decide to kiss your English teacher or run naked in front of the entire school. That would be an example of a dilemma. I doubt that you would do any of these because this is a “. . . situation requiring a choice between two unpleasant alternatives”. That is the dilemma that this dictionary is talking about in this form and sense. This is a minor model of the few definitions that this word has. Likewise the “Webster’s Universal College Dictionary” form of dilemma is a distinct word that means “situation requiring a choice between equally undesirable alternatives”. While I try to figure out why this word is not used much, I made a third look in another everyday dictionary. “Dictionary .com” says that this highly interesting word is described as “A situation that requires a choice between options that are or seem equally unfavorable or mutually exclusive.” There have been frequent episodes were we get in and we have to decide between options that are or seem equally unfavorable. That’s why I can’t comprehend why it is that only once in a blue moon this word is used. Dilemma doesn’t have several synonyms like “difficult” or “obscure”, the synonyms for “dilemma” are “quandary”, “perplex”, “catch-22” and “predicament”. Each of these words has little to no use in the English language. This is just one of my numerous examples of the little usage the great word “dilemma” get used.

The OED one of the world’s most sophisticated dictionary in the English language today. The Oxford English Dictionary has been the roots of the English language. As my eyes glanced underneath the word “dilemma” in the OED it read “1. to place in a dilemma. 1656 S.H, Gold Lewis; Both sides are dilemma’d and stand poust’d like Lot’s wife. 1849 Poe, Marginalia; like a novel hero dilemma’d I made up my mind to be guided by circumstance” When I caught myself read these word I did not get the fulfillment of the meaning, so I read on, it read “2. to hesitate or be in doubt between two alternatives”. Right then and there I got the reason and the meaning for the word dilemma. I wanted to find out more about this intrguing word so I squinted further down the page until I saw a word I liked. “Dilemmist” which meant “one who passed his opinion on a dilemma” I found a new meaning and word so I continued looking until my eyes were tried of squinting a minute later.

I went to the streets (or “streetz” as these kids say nowadays) and asked people about what the word “dilemma” meant. A woman named Alish was asked by me what the word “dilemma” meant. She said “Didn’t you already ask me! I said conflict.” This same women happened to be my mother. Then I asked Myles Lawton, first he questioned me, then I told him that this was a homework assignment so he decided to give me an answer. He said, identical to my mother “A problem that has no good or bad outcome.” I asked a third person to get the full point of view. I asked Vanessa Bordley she replied “a conflict that you can’t get out of” I replied “Is that your final answer?” she said “Yes.” Well since we live in a country with such various conflict or “conflict that you can’t get out of” I don’t know way we don’t use the word “dilemma”, especially the U.S.

Now since I knew everyone knew what the word meant ,I thought they would know how it was use in an article. So I looked the word dilemma on ebsoco. An article that I liked a lot and used the word dilemma in a standard way was “West Move counter-moves” By David Dupree from USA Today it said “ The Mavericks have a dilemma. By single –covering Duncan, they were able to stay up on the Spurs shooters, effectively taking away the three point shot, which was a weapon in San Antonio’s last series against Sacramento.” Here the word dilemma is not used the OED, but how people actually use the word properly. Another book that came out recently called “Omnivores Dilemma” talks about how humans eat too much and if the diet they could loose much of the nutrients we need to survive. Although I did not read the book I can tell you that there will be conflict some how.

How does the world feel about this word? Do they dislike the word? By say this word tears the world apart? Do they say this word creates more of it own kind? Or do they love the word, saying that is marvelous and whoever created this word is a genius. I say that this word holds the world together. This world obviously makes the world a better place because without it how could an athlete say that they are in debt without hiding it. For example if an athlete was a press conference and said he was in debt he would be on the front page of the Boston Globe the next morning. To calm the situation down all the athlete would have to say that he/she is in a dilemma with his/her money and everyone would not have to know that he is really in debt. This one of the two reasons why “dilemma makes the word a better place. My second reason that this word makes the word a better place is this word help express our frustration out on the world. That’s why when we think of words think the opposite, mean or harsh words definitely help the word become a better place because without them people would have to kill or slaughter some people or thing that express themselves. This is the reason why dilemma is such a great word.

In conclusion “dilemma” might not have a lot of usage of the word in the English language, back in the middle ages or nowadays. Even though the word does not get used in various definition, the word is vary interesting when used out of it original meaning. Dilemma is a word that defiantly need to be used, especially in today’s world. Most foreign people did not even know that this word even existed, so they have a hard to being explained to them. This makes it even more a word that needs to be treated with care an concern. This word makes the word a better place because without it how could people explain the situation that they are in or how they could get out of it. That’s why I say “dilemma” holds the world together. If I don’t get a good grade I’ll be in DILEMMA