Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Advisory: Demonstrated proficiency in English by placement via multiple measures OR through an equivalent placement process OR completion of ESLL 125 & ESLL 249; not open to students with credit in ENGL 11H.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • The successful student will be able to evaluate and interpret an international, multicultural selection poets. While focusing on poetry of the last fifty years, students also evaluate and write about poetry from Primitive to Modern times.
  • The successful student will also be able to write about a variety of poems that engage Race and Representation, Feminism and Representation, Performance, Holocaust, Representations of Sexuality, and Post Colonial Poetics.
  • Including analysis of Poetic Forms and Theories, the successful student will be able to interpret in writing such elements of poetry as rhyme, meter, figures of speech, assonance, consonance, internal rhyme, et. al.


Students will be introduced to the forms, techniques, meanings, and history of poetry. Because poetry, since the mid-nineteenth century has turned internationally toward a more communicative and social form of literary expression, emphasis relies on modern examples in English and translation to develop the student's ability to read, understand, and evaluate a poem in the context of the modern world.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Recognize and understand the relevance of poetry in a historical, social and literary context
B. Understand and apply theories and terminologies of explication of formal designs appropriate to an introductory level discussion of poetry
C. Compose a formal analysis essay demonstrating appropriate academic language and scholarly rigor
D. Research appropriate secondary sources and integrate those into literary analyses without plagiarism
E. Demonstrate appropriate formatting and documentation

Course Content

A. History of poetry
1. Evolution of poetic forms
a. Poetry in the oral tradition
b. Focus on poetry and myth
c. Religion and education through poetry
2. Advent of lyrical poetry
a. The significance of the Greek Anthology
b. The songs, poems and oral tradition of Native people
c. Medieval to Renaissance lyrics
d. Romanticism: elevated personal and social consciousness
e. Advent of free verse and experimental poetry
f. The poetry of folk music, rock and roll, and hip-hop
3. Apply understanding of poetic elements
a. Explication
b. Denotation and connotation
c. Figurative language: simile, metaphor, symbol, etc.
d. Sound: alliteration, rhyme, assonance, consonance, rhythm, and meter
B. Applying literary theories to poetry
1. Classical-Medieval-Renaissance criticism
a. Aristotle's Poetics/time, place, action
b. Myth
c. Religion
2. Enlightenment criticism
a. The Sublime
3. Romantic criticism
a. Wordsworth's "spontaneous overflow of emotion"
b. Keats's "negative capability"
c. Emerson's "The poet as visionary"
4. Modern criticism: New Criticism
a. Metaphor, irony, ambiguity
5. Post-modern criticism: New Historicist, Marxist, feminist, psychoanalytic, critical race theory, gender, queer, and cultural critiques
C. Formal, scholarly literary analysis essays
1. Development and delivery of a clear literary analysis thesis
2. Effective use of textual evidence
3. Comparisons among texts
4. Stylistic conventions of literary analysis
5. Attention to scholarly language
D. Research
1. Navigation of research databases and print archives
2. Evaluation of sources and identification of those scholarly
3. Critical reading of research sources
E. Formatting and documentation
1. Modern Language Association (MLA)

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. When taught via Foothill Global Access: ongoing access to computer with email software capabilities; email address; internet browsing software.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Critical reading responses and examinations in which students effectively explicate poetry using technical terminology and additional research to deepen analysis.
B. Written work includes at least one critical essay, quizzes, midterm(s), and final essay examination.
C. Stylistic imitations and explanatory reflections that demonstrate the use of particular elements in poems studied.
D. Presentations on poems that focus on poetic elements, themes, and form.

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Lecture presentations and classroom discussion using the language of poetry.
B. Homework readings, plus in-class reading of poetic texts by the instructor and students followed by instructor-guided interpretation and analysis.
C. Group presentations of major projects followed by in-class discussion and evaluation.
D. When taught as a fully online course, the faculty shall employ one or more of the following methods of regular, timely, and effective student/faculty contact:
1. Private messages within the course management system
2. Personal email outside of the course management system
3. Telephone contact weekly announcements in the course management system
4. Chat room within the course management system
5. Timely feedback and return of student work (tasks, tests, surveys, and discussions) in course management system by methods clarified in the syllabus
6. Discussion forums with appropriate facilitation and/or substantive instructor participation
7. E-portfolios/blogs/wiki for sharing student works in progress; provide feedback from fellow students and faculty in a collaborative manner, and to demonstrate mastery, comprehension, application, and synthesis of a given set of concepts
8. Field trips

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

An anthology that covers world poetry from its beginnings, but stresses modern English language poetry and material on the technical terminology of poetic explication, such as:
Burt, Steven. The Poem is You: 60 Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2016.
Coval, Kevin, and Nate Marshal. Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop. Haymarket Books, 2015.
Hass, Robert. A Little Book on Form: An Exploration into the Formal Imagination of Poetry. New York: Harper Collins, 2018.
Lockwood, Diane. The Crafty Poet. New Jersey: Terrapin Books, 2016.
Teicher, Craig. We Begin in Gladness: How Poets Progress. Minneapolis: Greywolf Press, 2018.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Weekly reading and writing assignments from the course assigned poetry anthology.
B. Analysis and application of textual criticism within the course assigned poetry anthology.
C. One week reading, research and writing assignments from a single author text.
D. Attend and report on one local poetry reading or single author DVD or VHS.