English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  

Dear Mr. Ian McMillan,

My name is Mark Mullaney and I am a sophomore at Catholic Memorial high school in Boston, MA. In my English 10 British literature class we are studying contemporary British writers, there we came across your name. Though we haven’t read any of your poems nor heard any of your broadcastings you should give us a chance and come read some of your pieces for us in my class. British Literature has became very appealing to me especially poetry where you do most of work. Poetry can be one of the hardest pieces of writing, therefore, poetry to me is my favorite reading material.

As a student in Boston there is a lot of things for me to explore, having eight subjects a day. When we go to study literature I find an amazement in people writings, in how they come up with the things they do, Especially poetry, even though not as long as books most times it has you feeling differently after each time you read them. Then you ask yourself, how does the author gets so involved in the character? how is he involved in the story? The way the author uses the language that is so smooth amazes me.

I understand that you just don’t write poetry, that you write drama and children books. Though I haven’t read any of you children books I can only imagine how you get the kids involved in the books. Being the 22nd most powerful man on the radio is also a great accomplishment. A way how when I can first hear you it feels that we are old pals. Reading the poem “goodnight for him” was a poem with such fluency and just traps the reader in the poem and putting the reader in the poem. “Is just that bit more grim: Close the cell door, Shut the shop up. It’s goodnight from him” just makes you think for a couple of moments. You read the poem over again and it just hits me how you got me into this poem making me want to read more of your works.

Your work has just simply amazed me. Being one of the best people on radio I could only wonder how you use your words on the radio making people listen to you with amazement. Having just read only several of your poems I can already tell that’s you are one of the greater authors I will read this year.

Knowing that you go to schools and prisons reading your work it would be greatly appreciated if you came to my school to read some of your works to the class. Some people might not even realize that your a great person by being on the radio and writing children books but if you come to my school you’ll be appreciated more as a person for the work you do. I’d just ask you to come any time in the month of may. Our schedule is greatly open to whenever your ability is.

Having me being one of the only students in my class that has gone into depth of your work I really think you should come done to read some of your works. Again it would be greatly appreciated if you came on our open invitation.

With best regards, Mark Mullaney



























In the year 1879 a song was produced call “Under Yonder Oaken Tree.” Before the song was finalized it had many names to it, one title were “welcome of the hostess.” The creator and producer of this song was George Linley, who lived in Wales. The song “Under Yonder Oaken Tree” was produced in Wales. Wales is located in southwestern part of the United Kingdom. Considering the geographical features of Wales, a lot of it is mostly farmland, where farmers would produce folk music. The song is listed as a traditional air in “Song of Wales.” “Under Yonder Oaken Tree” influenced the culture of Wales, and the rest of the United Kingdom, giving ideas and influences to modern day folk music.

“Under Yonder Oaken Tree” created in Wales has defiantly influenced the song. Wales is acres and acres of nice fertile farmland. In order for George Linley to write this song he need an imagination and a nice sunny day to get his ideas. The song was written at night and day because he talks about the starts and morning, “when day’s last beam hath faded: then while the stars shine brightly, …yet no trace of them seen, when morning rays are glancing.”

The song has affected Welsh culture not only because it has given a lot to modern day folk music but it shows how to look at life, to look outside and see what is actually there. The reason this song is getting to that is probably because a lot of people today just take advantage to what we have and maybe don’t even notice what really is outside our busy lives. “Under Yonder Oaken Tree” also shows what could be beyond what is outside that people wouldn’t even care to notice, it talks about elves and fairs being there floating under the oaken tree, showing how life should be lived. “ Shows where the elves were dancing: oh! Where are they abiding? In what lone valley hiding? Come next with me and we will see, the fairies homewards gliding.”

The song was much popular in 1879 but now it isn’t just as popular yet it is and people don’t know. When people listen to folk music that music was influence by “Under Yonder Oaken Tree” and other songs. The music was really important to people in the Country life and living on the countryside of Wales. Even though you might not have heard of the song “Under Yonder Oaken Tree” its out there and has done something to modern folk that might not have been done if it weren’t for George Linley writing this.



















Language is an art created by many different people and cultures. In the beginning of time people had to figure out a language to start interacting with others then many languages adapted from one language. One language is English one of the most powerful languages to this day. Many different languages compact to make English. From English the word “bomb” was adapted. Even though a bomb is an object it is still considered a word in the English language. “Bomb” is a fairly new word only because it was invented in 1588. Bomb has done many things to the world. It has given some success and some horrible experiences. The word “Bomb” has pretty much made the world hurtful only because this one object gives people such great fear and bad memories for others good times and success.

 “Bomb” being a common word it appears in many dictionaries such as the Merriam Webster Dictionary the American Heritage Dictionary and the British American Dictionary. “Bomb” is used in the Merriam Webster dictionary as “an explosive device fused to detonate under specified conditions.” The definition is using “bomb” as a weapon. In the American Heritage Dictionary the definition is “An explosive weapon detonated by impact, proximity to an object, a timing mechanism, or other means.” This also is used as a weapon. Finally according to the British American Dictionary the word’s definition is “flop, dismal failure.” Meaning that some one did badly on something for example “I bombed that test”, meaning I failed that test.

 The most useful dictionary to use for the English language would be the Oxford English Dictionary also known as the OED. According to the Oxford English Dictionary the word “bomb” was originally used in 1588 as a device fired. The OED has several definitions for “bomb” the top three definitions are “1. An explosive projectile consisting of a hollow iron sphere filled with gun powder or some other charge and fired by a fuse ignited in the act of discharge from mortar.” The second definition is simply “a mortar” lastly the third definition is “a small war vessel.”

 The OED also consists of the word appearing in literature and when it appeared. In 1845 the author Darwin used the word stating “I noticed volcanic bombs, that is, masses of lava which been shot through the air.” In the year 1806 Duncan used the word in the sentence “The bomb ships and schooner gun vessels made their escape.” Lastly in 1730 an author by the name Young used “bomb” in the sentence “a thousand deaths the bursting bomb hurls from her o-emboweled womb”

“Bomb” a common word but many different meanings for it. Many different people have different Ideas for the word. After asking five people what first came to mind when the word was said and use it in a sentence they all answered differently. After asking a good guy named Joe McGonegal he said it meant “to fail; destruction” in a sentence he said, “Bombed that test.” When asking an older lady name Marta Frisadi she said the word is “slang” and using in a sentence would say “it’s the bomb.” Asking a close friend of mine John Clinton the first thing that came to mind was explosives “I used a bomb to blow up that building.” Another older lady Ms. Magyar said it was a “weapon” in a sentence she said “it would be a bad mistake to use a nuclear bomb to a country”

After asking a couple of people that speaks English as a second language all have different input about the word “Bomb” asking a 22 year old man named Jefferson whose original language was Portuguese, he said he would hear the word a lot mostly with large countries and in the news, he would see it as a threat. When asking a friend named Mike who originally spoke Spanish, he said that the word was so popular he basically knew what it meant the whole time as he grew up. He never remembered learning the word “bomb”

“Bomb” is over four hundred years old and still is commonly used in the news and other subscripts. To ensure that the word “bomb” is used a lot different newspapers have it in their headlines. For example in entertainment weekly one article is called “Bomby Weather” written on June 8th, 2001. Seeing the word “bomby” is seen everyday. An article written by John Heilemann. From New York on 3/7/2005, in Vol. 38 Issue 8, p18-19 writes “the Big Bomb in Senate.” This article doesn’t show bomb as a weapon rather as a threat. Lastly an article from Golf World magazine written by Ron Sirak shows “bomb” in an extraordinary way. The article is called “Cherry Bombed” which has nothing to do with cherry bombs, but rather with an LPGA player failing to win a championship.