English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  

Dear Mr. Pinter

My name is Michael Tierney I live in Scituate, Massachusetts, and I attend a private school in Boston called Catholic Memorial. First off I would like to say congratulations on you fantastic achievement of winning the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature. The reason I am writing this letter is not just to congratulate you but to offer you the chance to come and speak with my tenth grade English class. My teacher Mr. McGonegal is teaching British Literature to us this year, and he is planning for me and my fellow classes mates to learn and read British Literature all they way back to Beowulf. We have been assigned this assignment to write to Contemporary British writers and ask them to ask them to come and talk to our class about there published works.

I understand that the Noble Prize was not you first prize in Literature. I understand that you have won many prizes such as the German Shakespeare Prize, the Austrian State Prize for European Literature, and the David Cohen British Literature Prize. That to me is very impressing! I also have read that you are not just a novelist that you also write plays. My Favorite line in you poem “God Bless America” you say “The gutters are clogged with the dead ,The ones who couldn't join in ,The others refusing to sing ,The ones who are losing their voice ,The ones who've forgotten the tune.” You are telling out of someone who doesn’t live in the US and showing the perspective of someone living in a different country affected by the war in Iraq. You also describe how some people in the US disagree with the war and the ones who in the beginning supported the war but now just want the soldiers to come home, because some of the men and women fighting over there are not just from the United States but from England and many others.

When my English teacher asked my class who had won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2005, no one knew. He had to go on the internet and show us that’s you had won it. What I am trying to say is that you have the choice of not coming to talk to my class. And I understand that you have just won the best prize you can win in Literature, and you may think that book signings and meeting with more important people then a tenth grade English Class in Boston. But if you don’t come not many of my fellow classmates and the ones who will come after me will not know who you are and who the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005. Also if you came to my class room there would be a good chance of some of my fellow students including myself who will follow in your footsteps and become a writer, and when people ask us who inspired us to become an author would could say that the 2005 Nobel Prize winner Harold Pinter was the one who inspired us to become an author.

Thank you for you time and good luck with you writing career,

Michael Tierney

























During the 1900s the British had much control over present day Ireland. The British had control over taxes, laws, housing and basically what happened in Ireland. Two thirds of what people made from there jobs, went to the English King through taxes. In present day Ireland, most of the country is independent except for part of the Northern Ireland. During the 1900s many songs were written about the war between England and Ireland. In the song “Four Green Fields” by Tommy Makem shows how it was a struggle for the people of Ireland during the war. The song was written in early 1900s, but the song had been sung by people in the Irish culture before this time. Tommy Makem is dead the song is still sung. This song is about the history between Ireland and England, and it is also a philosophical song when the old woman expresses her love for her children and her jewels.

This song is told through an old woman words about the troubles and sorrows the war put her through. The song starts out with the women saying that she had four green fields and each of them was a jewel. These fields were where the English came and took the property and took the goods that were grown on those fields. In the song the old women says “There was war and death, plundering and pillage. My children starved, by mountain, valley, and sea.” She says that her fields were fought on. The song goes on and the old woman says “I had fine strong sons who fought to save my jewels, they fought and they died.” But the women don’t lose her faith she says that her sons had fine brave sons of there own who will fight to save her jewels.

This song is an historical song because it describes the event that happened during the war between the English and Ireland. Its shows how the English came and just took over when the old women says “But strangers came and tried to take them from me.” The English are known to just go to a country and take over by force. They did this to the thirteen original colonies and the Virgin Islands.

It’s also a philosophical song to, because it shows the old women’s love for her song and her fields, and how they were just taken from her. “What did I have, said the fine old woman. What did I have, this proud old woman did say. I had four green fields, each one was a jewel. But strangers came and tried to take them from me. I had fine strong sons, who fought to save my jewels. They fought and they died, and that was my grief said she.” These lines show that she has love for her sons that died, because they loved there mother and her fields.

The song could be said to just be talking about an old women’s fields that her sons fought for. But if you think deeper than that you can see the history behind it and the references it is making. The song is saying that the English just came to Ireland and took over with force. Also it shows how that Ireland didn’t have a big army like England, there soldiers were just ordinary untrained men whose land was taken from them and they needed to fight to take it back and survive.

























On January 7th 2006 US Journalist Jill Carroll was kidnapped in Baghdad, while walking to a meeting with Sunni politician Adnan al-Dulaimi. The first appearance of her was on an Iraq local news station with two pictures of her smiling, and a narrator saying “The kidnapped journalist Jill Carroll loves Iraq and she now needs your help, it’s time for Jill Carroll to go home safely.” The demands of the terrorists who kidnapped her had one request; it was to tell the US that they would kill her unless they met there demands. The ransom of Jill Carroll was she would not be killed if the US set free all Iraqi women prisoners. When the US military asked the news station that broadcasted the tape where they got it from, they said that the tape was dropped off with no note saying which group had sent it. Another tape was sent to the news last Friday with Jill speaking to her successors begging for them to meet there demands. Attached to the tape was a note for the US government, the note said if they don’t meet there demands that she would be killed, and there deadline was February 26. This crime is motivated by power because that kidnappers are looking for more power in Iraq, if the US meets there demands, that will give them power and they could just keep kidnapping Americans in Iraq and keep getting there demands, by meeting there demands the US is giving them power.

The only words that the kidnappers have said are “Jill Carroll is a woman who loves Iraq, but she will be killed if the remaining women in US custody are not set free.” They also have been giving deadlines saying that she would be killed if they don’t meet there demands. Interior Minister Bayan Jabr says that they know who the kidnappers are and he has there address but that is there closest lead. But they do believe that she is still alive.

In the British Novel Kidnapped and Catriona, by Robert Louis Stevenson. “A sixteen year old orphan is kidnapped by his villainous uncle, but later escapes and becomes involved in the struggle of the Scottish highlanders against English rule.” This kidnapping was also done for power from the evil uncle who wanted the power of his older brother the boy’s father.

Many kidnappings have occurred in Iraq during the war. Before Jill Carroll there was another man, where they told the US that they were going to kill him if they don’t meet there demands. And the US thought they were bluffing, and on national TV they cut off the mans head and held it high in the air to show that they were serious. So now the US is on the hunt for Jill Carroll night and day to keep her safe. Or they will have to meet there demands.

Jill’s father and mother have spoke in the case. Jill’s father says “why would they do this to such a nice women who is only there for the rights of the Iraqi people.” They also say that Jill is against the Bush administration and is against the war. They told them that she was no threat to them. And they also try and tell them that if they had a heart that they would let her go. They say “picture if that was your daughter” trying to get sympathy from the terrorists. They say that they would be a total disaster to there family. But the kidnappers have done this for one reason and they will keep doing this until they get this. They are doing this for power.

























When you think of words, you think of books, speaking, conversations, and writing. Language is the source of communication in today’s world. You see language through words on television, in news papers, magazines, and billboards and so on. You can think of the English language and say that is hurting the world and say it is making it better. When you walk through a hotel, airport, and train station all over the world you will be able to speak English and the people there will understand you. People say that English is taking over the world, their right. But in my opinion not in a bad way considering that most people from other countries come to America for a better life, so why wouldn’t you learn the English Language? It wont hurt you if you speak it, it will only make you that much more intelligent.

The word “hero” is a frequently used noun. The First time the world has been written in the English language according to the Oxford English Dictionary was in 1387 in Higden’s novel Trevisa. The word “hero” is usually used as a noun describing someone who acts in ways in other look up to them, as in being brave, intelligent, loving, and others. It can also be used as an adjective describing the act of something that relates to hero would be called heroic. Most authors use a hero to solve the main problem or conflict in there book.

The first sentence the word was written in according to the OED was “ wroot moche of criste, and pat open liche as in bis vers of hero’s.” As you can see English has come a long way from 1387. It was then used in 1555 in Eden’s Decades in the sentence “Goddes made of men whom the antiquitie cauled Heros”. Then again it was used in 1591 in Spenser’s Virgin in the sentence “ And you besides the honourable band of great Heroes doo in order stand”. This makes it seem like a totally different Language than the one today.

One definition of the world goes all the way back to Greek Mythology according to dictionary.com, and the meaning is a legend, a man, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods. Another definition of the word is “A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life.” Describing someone who is brave enough to give his own life, for someone else. And a third definition of the word is A person noted for special achievement in a particular field. This definition shows that a hero is not just someone who is brave, strong and courageous. Its shows that a hero could be a person who has achieved something great for being smart or caring for others. Dictionary.com is an online dictionary that runs off of many other dictionaries. Some used are the The American Heritage Dictionary, The Webster’s Dictionary, and The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms.

Like is said before many authors in there novels use hero’s as there main characters. They use them to solve there problems and fix the conflicts to make a happy resolution. Even the first book that was written in the English language used a hero as there main character Beowulf, it talks about a knight who kills two monsters and a dragon and saves the lives of so many men in Herot. His name was Beowulf. There are some many novels that express heroes. Some are Robin Hood, who stole from the rich and gave to the poor, To Kill a Mocking Bird, when Boo Radley saves the children, and some many more. Heroes are men or women who so called “save the day”. They are the brave, the courageous, and the intelligent.

Like in the English language the word in Spanish and French is “héroe.” In German it is “Held.” And in Italian it is “eroe.” They all resemble the English way so you can guess that the word came from Greek and Roman Language that was passed through the Anglo-Saxon’s through Europe then the world. When I asked Mac Luciani, who was Italian and 16 years old what first comes to mind when he hears the word hero he said, “ what are you talking about” then I had to tell him it was for school and he said, “ oh I don’t know batman I guess.” Then I asked him to define it and he said, “someone who saves lives or someone who is looked up to.” Then I asked Dan Galvin and Irishmen who is also sixteen. He said, “defiantly a person in the service fighting in the war is a hero” he defined it by saying, “a hero is someone who is brave courageous, and strong.” Then I asked my one hundred percent Irishmen my grandfather Paul McCarthey, he said, “a hero is a man who goes to work everyday and works a full day and puts food on the table for his family.”

One way that the word “hero” is used that the OED hasn’t used yet is the expression “a hero sandwich”. This was found in a Sports Illustrated Article. The article talks about three movie stars and singers who are playing at a charity baseball game and they are all sandwiched into the on deck circle. So Jerry O’Brian calls is a “hero sandwich.” This is a new form of the word that has been used according to the OED.

In conclusion, the word “hero” is part of the English language that is making the world a better place. The majority of the world is a English speaking. Just recently the President of the United States George Bush made English the main language of our country. Now look at all the different races in the United States and they all are now united under one language. So I believe that the English Language is making the world a better place.