English 10: Writing Portfolio
Catholic Memorial High School
Dear Mr. Williams,
I am a student at Catholic Memorial of West Roxbury, MA. I have just recently read one of your poems, “The past stretches ahead, into which we stare,” from an online source of contemporary writers. As I told you I am a student at Catholic Memorial in my sophomore year. I am in English 10, British literature of contemporary writers. Although my class hasn’t read you in our book I came across your writings on a contemporary writer’s website in which I was looking for someone with the same name. So, I was looking through the W’s when I found you had the same name as me, William or Williams. Then I came to your name which I clicked on and found very interesting.
What I really enjoyed were the poems because of the fewer amounts of words with deeper meaning than a book. Such as this one from your poems, “The past stretches ahead, into which we stare,” and I really thought that this poem showed what I wanted to talk about today to you.
I carried on that way till my father died and allowed me to grow my hair. I didn’t want to any more.
These lines show me why poems are form of life experiences and are especially from the heart of the person. Poetry can be a group of puzzling words in a line but they all mean something and it is up to us to figure them out. As in these line that that you have to figure out why the boy doesn’t want to grow his hair anymore. I can see why the boy doesn’t want to grow his hair anymore in the sense of the reminders of the past good times with his father. Even though it takes longer to find the deep meaning within all those words of a book which can keep people interested, I think poems are so much more powerful with the selection of words that are chosen to be entered to tell a story in a more complex and amazing way.
That is why I am here addressing this letter to you to ask you if you would like to come to my school and give a lector of poetry and on its deeper meaning of thoughts than just words that have rhyme and rhythm. If you cannot make the trip to Boston I would be disappointed, not in the fact that you can’t come but, as a fact of how my classmates and I will loose out on a great chance to hear your thoughts of poetry. Also I would like to hear about the meaningful thoughts of a poem in short lines and stanzas than long lines and paragraphs of a context of a short story or novel. Without you accepting this offer we will probably not be able to reach your works of literature this year, but hopefully in years to come.
Sincerely: William Wilson
“When Johnny Comes Marching Home” is a song of a soldier on his way home from the battle at Gettysburg, with his family waiting for him. It teaches us of how hard it is for families to have loved ones serve in the army. This song was written in 1865, in Charlestown, MA. “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” is a song of all the soldiers that are coming back from war to their families and home towns with celebrations for their arrival home. The song brought happiness for the culture during the time of war. This song teaches us of the history of a way of life during wartime.
Patrick S. Gilmore was born on December 25, 1829 in county of Galway, Ireland. According to an online biography he was only just a teenager when he became involved in the musical aspect of life. As Gilmore became older and started to write songs of the war and the way of life as soldier. One of his songs became very well known because just after the battle at Gettysburg he wrote this song.
During this time everyone was mad or sad, singing was one way to let of your stress on having loved ones in battle.
”When Johnny comes marching home again, Hurrah, hurrah, We'll give him a hearty welcome then, Hurrah, hurrah! The men will cheer, the boys will shout, The ladies, they will all turn out, And we'll all feel gay when Johnny comes marching home.”
This song was first issued on paper in 1889, after it had left the battle fields defending our country. With this first verse of the song, it shows what an impact the war was on people at this time. With women sending their children or husband to war and seeing them come home safely was such and accomplishment that there were celebrations. “When Johnny comes marching home again”, signifies that everyone has faith of their men coming home safely to their loved ones.
“When Johnny comes marching home” is a very popular song still today in Irish bands all across Boston area and in Ireland, such as the Wolfe Tones who are a group of Irish tenors who have been signing together for 32 years. I went to see the Wolfe Tones and they have a story before they play the song “When Johnny comes marching home”, about the struggle for the Irish to survive during the time of battle and how it is a sad song and a joyful song all at the same time. With having mixed emotions I believe that it is a joyful song because of how they are saying When Johnny comes Marching Home, meaning that he and his family are joyful and cheering for him to his arrival home once again. I know that the Irish Hit Parade radio station always plays Gilmore’s song, also the song is on almost every one of my father’s greatest Irish hits CD’s at home. This song changed a lot of the culture in America because it was the greatest number of men fighting and the greatest number of men dieing on American soil since Gettysburg. So with all the men who fought for America is was rare for a women to ever see her men home again.
In the biography of Patrick S. Gilmore the song influence at the time was to all of the less fortunate people living a struggling life. His songs were played in the 24th infantry to give signs of when to shoot and to keep the men on point with there steps in line. The men marched with the beat of his drums which where pushing them along in the war to succeed in defending their native land.
In the ongoing case of the Whitey Bulger, all the crimes relate back to 1975, when John Connolly and FBI agent signed Whitey Bulger as an informant to help bring down the city of Boston’s underworld of crimes. With this new partnership the informant help himself and the FBI to coming down hard on Italian mafia and some of the Irish mob. I feel as though Whitey Bulger signed the agreement letter to become an informant only to help himself with tips of everyone’s where a bout’s from the police and other mobsters. This gave whitey the power to do whatever he wanted with his drugs, guns, and killings of dealers. This power that Whitey had, lead to a whole series of killings. After John Connolly retired in 1990 from the FBI they started to try to bring down Whitey and his gang of guys who where know as the most powerful mobsters in South Boston. So the investigation started to bring down the most powerful man in Boston, to later find out that there “X” agent John Connolly was arrested for falsifying reports to hide Bulger and his Crew. With this arrest came a new whole view of the investigation including strings tying to certain deaths that Connolly knew about.
Since the arrest of Connolly the FBI has been able to find out information on Whiteys main man that did all the drug money work for him, such as Kevin Weeks. With this man arrested, the questioning started on the where a bouts on Whitey Bulger, with Weeks denying his location. Although they might have not got Whitey they got his right hand man that knew a ton of information of drug money and killings that had been committed. This lead to Kevin Weeks telling the truth to the judge about the missing money and was sentenced to jail for the racketeering of drug money. Although one of Whiteys most well known gang members behind bars for telling the truth of his involvement with racketeering of drug money, NOW the power that the Irish mob gained was finally coming down slowly but surely.
Considering the power has now decreased from the day that Weeks was put in jail, it didn’t give anymore of a break to the FBI in the search to the links of Whiteys location and crimes he committed. With the FBI on the hunt for the 2nd most wanted man in America besides Osama Bin Laden who is 1st, they cannot relax and are continuously searching for Whitey. With Whitey still out there running from his past the FBI cant find to many links or traces of whitey anywhere in the in the world because of his numerous false identities that only have one thing in common with one another is that he has gray hair and blue eyes and everything else is a mystery.
Within all the chaos of trying to find whitey the press went to work on his family and mobster friends to receive little information on him but to her Kevin Weeks say to the judge, “I was involved in Whiteys Bulger’s killings and trafficking of drug money”, was shocking. This quote put Weeks in jail for racketeering of stolen money and involvement of particular killings. With saying Week’s actual words is amazing but for him still to say I don’t have any contacts to whitey ever since he left Southie, is even more shocking to the public eyes. This has also in history has happen more than once with catching the accomplices rather than the actual gang leader such as this one in London, of members of a gang are sentenced to jail for life for the capturing of Mary-Anne Leneghan of London. “Adrian Thomas, 20, a drug dealer, and three accomplices were all supposed to be supervised by the London Probation Service when they killed Mary-Ann Leneghan and shot another teenager and left her for dead. The murder, after several other killings by offenders under supervision of the probation service, prompted demands for tougher action to protect the public.”
These types of killings and gang violence are still happening today all around the world and it up to us to teach our children the right way to do handle things in a non violent way such as killing. As in such was as the killings involved in the mystery of “Whitey” Bulger still continues today amongst the biggest and longest case of FBI history. Although recently the mobsters safe deposit boxes were found a few years ago in Britain and Ireland he is still on the loose.
In years of learning the English language through history, I have found that there are some words that help us understand ourselves as Americans and there are some that hurt us as Americans by having a certain word in the language. With the selection of these three definitions of such a great word as victory I feel as though this word is very important towards our history as Americans in this world. The success as a country today comes from our great history of being true fighters for a better cause with the willingness to do anything for the whole country to save others. This word shows people of how we struggled with many obstacles but overcame the difficulties one by one in order to succeed as a country.
A word such as “VICTORY” that has been traced all the way back to the year 1387, can be very much a great word to describe us Americans with fighting for what we wanted which was freedom. From my viewing of this word I believe that this word victory plays a huge role in our history since day one when America was founded. That was a great accomplishment to the pilgrims that made them Victorious people for finding land that started our country.
Victory is a kind of word that can have many meanings, and when researched the American heritage dictionary we had come up with the definition of, “The state of feeling triumph”(707). This definition showed the success but in the Webster’s dictionary we found that victory mean “The defeating of an opponent” in the actual actions(941). Then I came to a library resource called the Oxford American Dictionary and in the text they published victory as, “The achievement by gaining mastery over ones opponent in score,” which deals with the hard work that makes success in strategizing against opponents(789).
Although I found in an interviewing survey I took that victory can also mean such things to ordinary people in the world. Brendan Miller said,” that victory meant an unbelievable defeat in a competition.” After realizing that was a pretty good definition Frank Thomas came up with, “a deserving accomplishment.” After hearing this very explaining definition Rick Auterio thought of victory,” as a great win of a selected group or team.” All of these six meaning are valid definitions of this word but its how you use these definitions to describe a specific team or person in the occupation that they do.
Most dictionaries are always right and give you a thorough definition of a word, but the OED is the most prestigious dictionary in the world. This text has the first texts the word has appeared in and if it has any dead definitions that you do not see in the world today. This dictionary shows some of the most famous authors and there works that they used the word in such as Keats in Hyperion, “that was before we knew the winged thing, that VICTORY might be won or might be lost(222).” Such a famous line like this from Keats was found in 1880. Also in the OED authors such as Milton were found using victory as,” an overwhelming win(124).” These definitions and existences go back so far it’s amazing such as in 1357, Barbourused victory as, “that all the folk would find wictory over kingis(79).”
As we come to realize the true root of the word which is VICTOR, which means winner with class. With research I found that not only does this word signify a win but a well represented person who is a good winner and a good loser. Such meaning in the novel 1984, Victory cigarettes and Victory gin are both the names of drugs that are used by the people regularly in order to get through the day. I believe that they used the word victory on those labels are to signify that it is either going to help you to die or its going to help you make it through the day which would be a victory in there eyes. Victory is very specific noun with relation to a fair person that holds himself to a higher esteem. This quality of being a victor is a great one that most people strive to become whether it is on the job or as a coach. Although most people strive to have this aspect of there discipline its hard to keep as person who takes it as it comes and strives to succeed.
I also would like to mention the fact of victory being a huge part in every ones life, with satisfaction of a known winner. Most of us everyday just go out and about minding are own business while people are out there striving to succeed in life with challenges. I feel as though if life didn’t have challenges or road blocks victory would be a highly respected word in the English language. Victory shows a person’s true colors when they overcome difficulties that may face them through out there life and as long as tackle the head on they are Victorious in life.