English 10: Writing Portfolio
Catholic Memorial High School
Dear Mr. Motion
My name is Anthony Nolfi and I attend Catholic Memorial in Boston, Massachusetts. I am in the 10th grade and play hockey and soccer. We have been going over contemporary British authors and we came across your name. I have read a poem or two of yours such as pieces of the “Inland” and a “Writers Life”. Both which I found very good.
The reason I am writing to you is that we at Catholic Memorial would like you to come to visit us and spend some time and share your experience and work with some of us students. We would definitely benefit from this.
In your poem the Water Tower, you mention "I drive past this tower now and remember making it the target for my walks as a teenager growing up. Whenever I see it, I have a sense that I am re-encountering my young self." This quote applies to a lot of people today, such as kids growing up and moving out of state and the soldiers in Iraq who’s life changes over that short period of time and when they come home they look for their water tower that reminds them of memories and that they are actually home. I discovered that you have won many awards and prizes such as the Newdigate and the Somerset Maugham Award and many others. Your awards and success are very impressive. I also saw that you have been a professor at the University of Hull, where you met Philip Larkin, another impressive writer in British literature. This year in English we have studied some of Mr. Larkin’s work.
If you cannot find the time to come and share your works with us we would not be able to share some of your fist hand experiences about your life as a poet and a great writer. Wouldn’t you want to help some of us become better writers? Maybe you would even inspire one of us to become a great literary writer or teacher. You never know what positive affect you may have on us. I would like to thank you for all your great writings; you have already made an impression me. I would like the rest of the class to also know more about your great writings. I hope that you consider my request for you to come to Catholic Memorial for a visit. Our schedule is open to your convenience.
A song written circa 1870 by a woman named Lesley Nelson Burns. Pince Elphin’s Song is part of Our National Songs, which has some of the lyrics most famously known as White Snowdon. This song could never truly be placed in its original founding place, but we can say it came from either England, Ireland, Scotland, and or Wales. Pince Elphin’s Song teaches us about the culture, historical, and the political side of the British colonies.
This song is based upon a myth, Pince Elphin. He had found a baby who had no name. Pince Elphin decided to name him Taliesin meaning “fine value” or “shining bow”. When the boy had grown up, he became a renoun bard. Later Pince Elphin was imprisoned by his uncle, in which Taliesin saved him. These lyrics are supposably the lyrics sung by the people imprisoned by the government and or ruler.
Pince Elphin’s Song relates to the politics and how a country of people are ruled today or way back when, by either a king, president, or queen. How people are limited and they get tossed into prison, abused, or threatened etc. And sometimes the only way to get out anger is to sing, write a song or poem in which this song was created. The people of England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland may feel like Pince Elphin and the government is his uncle. Not running the government or the country the right way. “Things begin to fall apart”, meaning people are maybe revolting or being tossed in jail because of who they are not what they did. “Unjustly doomed to linger here, A prey to foul despair.” The government is beginning to fall apart in a mental way and maybe in a physical way because people are loosing their faith in them. In other words the government is looking for any excuse to put people who do not follow what they believe in jail.
Then you have that one person who rises to power and runs the government the right way just like Taliesin, and the people are Elphin. The one person to save the people has enough influence to help the whole country. “Like the ere while was free, But now alas! My wretched tongue is dumb to all but thee” This quote is how the country keeps going up and down. How one second the country may seem like things are working and coming together, you are free but then the government begins to fall apart again and Britain is in the same position they started in. The government almost leads you into false security.
A second way Taliesin influenced Britain was through culture and history. This song must have had an important affect on the British culture because it has made it from circa 1870 to present day 2006. It has been studied by kids in high school such as CM; different colleges have talked about it in literature class and musical class.
It influenced the culture and history by one in Old British colonies and European colonies, mythology played a big role in religion, science, the way the world was created. Such as Gods that people worshiped, science the worlds shape, heaven and hell. But then in historical times people did put family in jail and the government may have not been, it may have been strong, or like in 1984.
Pince Elphin’s Song has an influence on the British colonies in Politics, history, and culture, which all play out in the role of Britain and other countries, government, life, economy, etc. Without certain songs, people, and other attributes, who knows where British colonies would be today.
Bollywood deer hunter a shining trademark in song and dance films. A man that has been convicted for shooting two rare deer. Salman Khan from India has been sentenced to 1 year in jail, for killing a rare black buck, is revered as a sacred animal by the people of Rajasthan. Khan has already had a couple of crimes in the past, in 1998; he was slapped with a fine for 5,000 rupees ($112.5), because of his tantrums. But, then he was released where his fans were yelling “long live, Salman Khan” which is still chanted outside the courtroom today. The power that Khan exerts is the power to shoot an animal that is defenseless and just because he is famous; he gets a way with some of the things and minor crimes he has committed.
Khan’s lawyer released the Friday of his court appearance that “at least one year in jail,” Khan would have to spend. Fans and family are in shock about what has happened. One fan says “Salman Khan is too nice to kill any thing or do such a thing.” But family and friends say “he does have a bad temper, but still finds it hard to believe.” There are still some people really upset, the Rajasthan who say, “only a year for killing a sacred and rare deer.”
Today we do not hear about many people getting arrested for shooting deer. But, there are some cases that are similar such as people killing people or other animals. Across the world people are always looking for power and money, just look at the war over in Iraq for example. The only one that benefits in this case is Khan. He killed the two deer by himself, not with a friend or any witnesses. It has hurt the people of Rajasthan that one of their own kind, would kill a deer that is sacred and rare.
In the BBC News Paper there was one case of a man who shot deer and was selling their skins etc.. The only problem was the man did not have a permit to kill or sell deer. Later he was fined $1000 and a year of jail time. Similar cases, are people killing people so, they become higher ranked for work or just for their own benefit of power and success. Power is wanted not only by government, but by the people. Sometimes people start out small by killing a deer which affects a whole entire religion and a race, like Salman khan. Some people might even say that is a pretty big deal.
The crave for power wanted by all, can push us to limits we never thought we could reach. When some people want power they will do whatever it takes even if it means jail time, hurting someone else, or breaking their own rules. Examples of these people are terrorists, Salman Khan, Hitler, and some might even say that President Bush.
The English language is a very unique language that has over 800,000 words and keeps increasing everyday. Most of the English language comes from either, Latin, Greek, and Old French. Some words are commonly used more than others. The word conscience, which people think have many different meanings, is the word that I have selected. They are right; conscience is used in science, law, medical research, etc. The word conscience comes from 13th century Via Old French and the Latin word “conscientia.” It was first used in the English language c.1325 by F.E. Allit. Some scientist say that our conscience is what allows us and others to discover who we really are, how far some people are willing to go, whether people are guilty or innocent, and allows us to come up with certain health discoveries proved by science.
Conscience was first used in 1325 by F.E. Allit, probably first discovered in the early 1000s by the people on the street. Its meaning first meant “inward knowledge, and inmost thought and mind.” This word if you really think about it has a lot to do with today’s world. We are constantly faced with thousands of decisions every day; an we hope to make the right one. This could also be what causes war. If we as Americans or any other country make the wrong decision instead of the right one, it opens everyone up to trouble. We make wrong decisions about religion, economy, and even a little mistake which could find a cure for a life taking disease. People use reverse psychology in law in order to find someone guilty or innocent, to get that right answer.
As I went around too interview many others to find their meaning of the word conscience, I heard a lot. I interviewed 70% male and 30% female. Out of these people 40% had a high school or college diploma. I had asked Liam Concannon and he said “Jiminy Cricket”-(Jiminy Cricket gives conscience to Pinocchio). Then I interviewed a girl named Sarah Hayes and she said “something in your head, tells you right or wrong”-(My conscience would really bother me, if I wore these shoes). Then I went to see Brother Oxx, and he said “the awareness of a moral or ethnical aspect to ones conduct together with the urge to prefer right over wrong”-(I have used conscience in a sentence). After all these interviews I figured I would interview some others who speak a foreign language.
In this task I meet up with Jaun Sanchez who is Porto Rican. He first learned Spanish when he was younger. He said “my parents taught me.” Jaun translated this word into conciencia. Then I went to Edward Nolfi and he said that he first learned Italian from his parents when he was younger. His parents were right out of Italy. His translation was conscienza. For my last foreign language speaker I interviewed Madame LeBlanc a neighbor originally from France. Her first language was French. She grew up around the country and language and her translation was consciencẽe.
The Oxford English Dictionary (O.E.D.) is the first English language dictionary. They have when a word was first used, who used it, and its definitions whether it’s a living or dead definition. The first definition of conscience “is an inward knowledge, internal conviction,” which was found around 1325 an is now dead. Another definition around 1503 “to speak ones mind, express ones conviction.” As two hundred years pass the word conscience had developed a new definition “the faculty or principle which pronounces upon the moral quality of ones actions or motive, approving the right and condemning the wrong.” This definition has stuck around to present day.
I also looked in three other dictionaries, which are no as good as the OED. The American Heritage Dictionary which said conscience means – The part of superego in psychoanalysis that judges the ethereal nature of one’s actions and thoughts and then transmits such determinations to the ego for consideration. The Merriam Webster Dictionary of Law says that conscience is exempting persons whose religious beliefs forbid compliance, which allows physicians to refuse to participate in abortions. The last dictionary that I looked in, I made it religious. The Easton’s Bible Dictionary. This dictionary used conscience as the faculty of the mind, or in born sense of right and wrong, by which we judge of the moral character of human conduct.
The OED did not just offer definitions of my word but famous authors. There was Shakespeare one of the greatest play writers of all. He used the word conscience over five times in separate plays or writings such as Cor. II, Temp II, Hen.VI, Peri IV, and Timpton II. Also, it gave the first author to use it F. E. Allit, in the 1300s (unknown name of book) “For I dare say, with conscience”. Also there was an Author we have studied this year that went by Byron. He used conscience in the book or poem, Island. These were just some of the famous authors who used this word.
As for articles, the word conscience was written all over the place. Conscience was found in headlines, in the articles body paragraphs etc. In newspapers, magazines of all types around the world of English speaking decent, conscience was found. There were a couple of articles about government such as “Denying Islam’s Assault on Freedom of conscience. In law, science, and even carpentry the word conscience had been mentioned. “Metric System”, how it came to be, that it was created by our conscience. Then there was one involving sports “Black Sox’ Curse Won’t Go Quietly” that the curse is people’s conscience and just because they are having a rough start the curse is back. Then there was one article that used a new sense of the word “What is Business School Really Like.” It explained that conscience is what allows the people to successfully complete their education, that social conscience is what makes a business successful.
Since this essay has been assigned, I have paid a lot more attention to how people use conscience and other words of the English language. You notice that the people around you use the word of your choice. I have heard certain teachers use it in biology and English. Also the president of the U.S. had used conscience in his immigration speech, hoping he was making the right decision, which is one of the definitions. All it takes is one minor mistake or wrong decision that could change a state, a country, or even the world.