English 10: Writing Portfolio

 

Catholic Memorial High School

 

2006-2007

   
   
   
   
   
Research  
   
Creative Writing  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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  Dear Mr. Jack,


My name is James Myers and I am a sophomore at Catholic Memorial in Boston, Massachusetts. In my
English class, we have been learning about contemporary British authors. Although we have not been
able to learn about you, we have learned about other great authors such as Seamus Heaney and Doris
Lessing. Since we have not been able to learn about you and your works yet, I am writing this letter
to invite you to visit our school and share with us your thoughts and ideas about the English
language and provide some information about your works.


I really enjoyed your book Red Herrings and White Elephants. I really liked some of the phrases
such as jump on the bandwagon, break a leg, put a sock in it, steals your thunder, bring home the
bacon, and even just the word OK. The phrase I though was most interesting was son of a gun. You
describe this phrase as “ a dismissive, contemptuous, remark, although it now has developed into,
more friendly expression, often implying shock or disbelief”. I knew the phrase and I had used it
before, but I did not know that it related to children being born on ships, and that they were
usually birthed behind the mid-ship gun. I thought that was rather interesting. I was hoping that
you could, at some point during the semester, be able to come in and talk about yourself and your
books and explain them.


If this is at all possible, please feel free whenever you are in or near the city of Boston to stop
by. If you are ever in New York, Boston is only an hour away by train. I encourage you to come. I
look forward to hearing from you.


Sincerely, James Myers

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Much can be discovered by reading letters of famous authors or poets. Take famous author Will Blake
for instance. Blake wrote a letter to a Reverend D. Trusler on August 16, 1799. Something that is
revealed in his letter that most people don’t know about him is that he was very religious, or at
least he tried to be. In his letter to the reverend, Blake tells the reverend how he tries to follow
the messages of the reverend.


William Blake (1757-1827), was born in London, where he spent most of his life. Blake was a British
poet, painter, visionary mystic, and engraver, who illustrated and printed his own books. He was
very unrecognized during his actual lifetime, and did not become popular until after his death. He
has often been credited as being the most spiritual writer of his time.


The purpose of Will Blake writing this letter was to tell the reverend that he was trying to follow
the reverend’s messages. This means that Blake was trying to be religious and trying to be close to
God. He tells the reverend, “ I atempted every morning anf fortnight together to follow your
dictate.” He later says in the letter, “it was out of my power.”


The function of this letter is to explore Blake’s religious personality. By writing to the reverned,
Blake was givena different audience than with his peotry. Blake tried to fix his own spiritual
developmant by listening to the reverend messages. “I know I begged you to give me your ideas and
promised to build on them here I counted without my host I now find my mistake.” As much an he
tried, for some reason he was not able to. This reason was not mentioned in the letter.
Blake’s writing style for his letters are similar to his writing style in his poems. His famous poem
“Auguries of Innocence”, goes:


“To see a world in a grain of sand
And heaven in a wild flower
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.”


This style of writing is somewhat like Blake’s style in his letter, except his letter does not have
a rhyme scheme, like all of his poems. An except form his letter goes like:


“I find more and more that my style of designing is a species by itself. And in this which I send
you have been compelled by my genius or angel to follow where he led if I were to act otherwise, it
would not fulfill the purpose for which alone I live.”


Both of Blake’s styles of writing are similar because he uses the same writing techniques and world
flow. He does not use big words, but they both have a bigger meaning the actual words. This is what
can be discovered by reading letters by Will Blake, as well as other authors.

   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many crimes were the person who committed the crime is trying to gain power by committing
the crime. This past New Years, there was a series of bomb attacks in Bangkok and Chaing Mai. There
have been many other bombings in these two cities for the past thirty years. All of this violence
has been caused by a power struggle.


These bombs are believed to be terrorist attacks. There are three suspected people for this case.
One person who has been suspected of this is 33-year-old Pratya Preechavej, who denies all charges.
The other two names have not yet been revealed. Whoever the suspect was, they are believed to have
dropped a bomb in a trashcan outside of a movie theater before going into the theater. The bombs
went off a short time later.


These bombings have caused many problems for the two cities. There were a total of three deaths, and
over forty people were injured by the explosions. These sorts of things have been happening all over
the world, starting with the 9/11 attacks, and it has been called the War on Terror. Since Saddam
Hussien has been executed, there is really no hope for Iraq becoming stable for a while. These
things will continue happening until Iraq is stable on its own. This act of bombing other countries
has occurred in literature. Gregory Corso wrote a peom called bomb. The poem is about a bomb and how
much power it posesses. A bomb is the most dangerous weapon on earth and is definatly the most
deadly. Corso says that one of the reasons bombs that everybody hates them. “All Man hates you
they'd rather die by car-crash lightning drowing falling off a roof electric-chair
heart-attack old age… They'd rather die by anything but you”. but still for some reason, man
makes them more and more powerful all time, because we have to outdo eachother, and have for power
that the other. When he say, “you are as cruel as man makes you”, that man keeps making them more
powerful.


This is how the terrorist bombings have related to a power struggle. These bombings have been
happening everywhere and will not stop until the war on terror is over. There have been three
suspects but no charges have been made yet. Hopefully the culprit will be found and be imprisoned.

   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Over time, the English language has developed greatly and has become one of the most spoken
languages in the world. One common words that gets used everyday is the word “these”. When people
talk about other people or other things and they already had names the subject that they were
talking about, they use the word “these”. It is especially helpful if they are talking about a large
number of people or a large number of things. People use this word instead if naming everything they
are talking about. The word “these” is helpful to the world because it helps people say things
quicker.


The word “these” has a couple different definitions. One definition, which is the American Heritage
Dictionary, is “referring to a person or thing which is present; and to indicate a person, thing,
idea, state, as present, near, just mentioned or pointed out.” In the Webster’s Dictionary, “these”
means just “ to refer to a person or thing.”


In the Oxford English Dictionary, the word these means: “denoting things or person actually or
ideally present, either things of persons.” “These” was first used in 825 by Psalter, in which he
wrote, in Old English, “From dissum da fiodon me.” The word “da” was later translated to “these”.
There have been many different uses for the word like “da”, “pison”, “pas”, “thees”, and finally
“these”.


The word “these” is a common word and is used every day. In a survey that I took recently I noticed
that people mostly use it when they are talking about a large amount of people or things. It seems
to have been helpful to the world because it makes talk shorter and easier. For instance, say you
have a group of kids who are all good at football. Sean Mahoney, a sophomore at Catholic Memorial
High School, which is located in West Roxbury, MA, said, “ All these kids are good at football”.
What he could have said was, “John, James, Steve, Dan, and Mark are all good at football”, but it is
much easier to use the word “these”.


These” is also used in literature for the same purpose. The word has been very popular throughout
history and has even been used by Shakespeare in Henry VI, when he wrote, “These are shrewd tempters
with their tongues”. Jeffery Chaucer also used this word when he wrote in his Prologue, “thise olde
gentil Britons”. “These” has also been used in the Bible. When it was rewritten in 1611 the author
wrote, “when the living creatures were lift up from the earth, the wheels were lift up…when those
went, these went, and when those stood, these stood.”


It is very often when people from different countries come into America. One difficulty about coming
to America is having to learn the English Language. I asked a few foreign language speakers if it
was hard learning the word “these”, and all three of them said that it was a pretty easy word to
learn. Jun Kim, who was originally from South Korea, where he spoke Korean, speaks pretty good
English. Jun told me, “these was a really easy word to learn.” When I asked him to use the word in
a sentence, he said, “These books are heavy.” Jun used this word the way many people used this word.
Like Sean Mahoney, he could also have named all of the books he was talking about, but it is much
easier to just use the word “these”. Anthony Piguero, who grew up speaking Spanish, said, “These
kids are crazy.” Again, he could have named all the kids, but he uses “these”.


The word “these” has been very helpful to the world. It has made speech easier and quicker for
people to speak to one another. It makes speaking to one another easier and quicker, which is good
nowadays, because everybody is always in a hurry. Many people who used the word in a sentence would
say, “These ____ are ____.” If they have already named them, instead of having to name every subject
they are talking about, they can use the word “these”. This is how the word “these” has helped the
world.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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