Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in ENGL 11.
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.
  • A successful student will develop knowledge for preparing annotated bibliographies and literary presentations.


The honors section offers rigorous preparation in discussion and analysis of poetic forms, techniques, meanings, and history of poetry for students intending to transfer to a four-year college or university. 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. Honors students have the opportunity to engage in deeper critical analysis and evaluation of poetry and its social, historical, and literary contexts, through the application of higher level, student-generated, student-centered discussion and creative assessments.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Recognize and understand the relevance of poetry in a historical, social, and literary context
  2. Understand and apply theories and terminologies of explication of formal designs appropriate to an introductory level discussion of poetry
  3. Compose a formal analysis essay demonstrating appropriate academic language and scholarly rigor
  4. Research appropriate secondary sources and integrate those into literary analyses without plagiarism
  5. Demonstrate appropriate formatting and documentation

Course Content

  1. History of poetry
    1. Evolution of poetic forms
      1. Poetry in the oral tradition
      2. Focus on poetry and myth
      3. Religion and education through poetry
    2. Advent of lyrical poetry
      1. The significance of the Greek anthology
      2. The songs and poems of native people
      3. Medieval to Renaissance lyrics
      4. Romanticism: elevated personal and social consciousness
    3. Advent of free verse and experimental poetry
      1. The poetry of folk music, rock and roll, and hip-hop
    4. Apply understanding of poetic elements
      1. Explication
      2. Denotation and connotation
      3. Figurative language: simile, metaphor, symbol, etc.
      4. Sound: alliteration, rhyme, assonance, consonance, rhythm, and meter
  2. Applying literary theories to poetry
    1. Classical-Medieval-Renaissance criticism:
      1. Aristotle's Poetics/time, place, action
      2. Myth
      3. Religion
    2. Enlightenment criticism
      1. The Sublime
    3. Romantic criticism
      1. Wordsworth's "spontaneous overflow of emotion"
      2. Keats's "negative capability"
      3. Emerson's "The poet as visionary"
    4. Modern criticism: New criticism
      1. Metaphor, irony, ambiguity
    5. Postmodern criticism: New Historicist, Marxist, feminist, psychoanalytic, racial, gender, queer, and cultural critiques
  3. 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
  4. Research
    1. Navigation of research databases and print archives
    2. Evaluation of sources and identification of those scholarly
    3. Critical reading of research sources
  5. Formatting and documentation
    1. Modern Language Association (MLA)

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

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:

Presentations that employ literary, critical, and/or theoretical terminology
Literary analysis, literary research, and critical thinking demonstrated in writing and/or other media
Participation in student and instructor-led discussions, collaborations, and presentations
Journal entries and reflections on reading process, focusing on construction of meaning
Individual and collaborative projects based on assigned texts and research
"Unessay" projects

Method(s) of Instruction

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

Independent and collaborative reading/viewing/listening interpretation of the assigned texts
Lecture presentations on the history and interpretation of assigned texts
Instructor-guided and collaborative interpretation and analysis
Presentations on inquiry projects focusing on key tools and skill sets in literary interpretation
Student-led discussions and presentations

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Asghar, Fatimah, and Safia Elhillo. The Breakbeat Poets, Vol. 3: Halal If You Hear Me. 2019.

Brimmer, Ana Portnoy. To Love an Island. 2021.

Betts, Reginald Dwayne. Felon. 2021.

Brown, Jericho. The Tradition. 2020.

Burt, Stephanie. Don't Read Poetry: A Book about How to Read Poems. 2019.

Chang, Victoria. Obit. 2020.

Chavez, Felicia Rose, Jose Olivarez, and Willie Perdomo. The Breakbeat Poets, Vol. 4: Latinext. 2020.

Choi, Franny. Soft Science. 2019.

Coleman, Wanda. Wicked Enchantment: Selected Poems. 2020.

Diaz, Natalie. Postcolonial Love Poem. 2020.

Felix, Camonghne. Build Yourself A Boat. 2019.

Gay, Ross. Beholding A Poem. 2020.

Harjo, Joy. American Sunrise. 2019.

Hayes, Terrance. American Sonnets for my Past and Future Assassins. 2019.

Hodgson, Andrew. The Cambridge Guide to Reading Poetry. 2021.

Huey, Amorak. Poetry: A Writers' Guide and Anthology (Bloomsbury Writers' Guides and Anthologies). 2018.

Kaminsky, Ilya. Deaf Republic. 2019.

Limón, Ada. The Hurting Kind. 2022.

Marshall, Nate. Finna. 2020.

Parker, Morgan. Magical Negro. 2019.

Price, M.B.. American Poetry to Read Aloud: A Collection of Diverse Poems. 2020.

Rankine, Claudia. Just Us: An American Conversation. 2021.

Savage, Kat. Letters from a Dead Girl. 2020.

Shapiro, Lauren. Arena. 2019.

Smith, Tracy. Such Color: New and Selected Poems. 2021.

Stilman, Daniel Yosef. Blues.. 2020.

Torres, Michael. An Incomplete List of Names. 2020.

Wong, Shelly. as she appears. 2022.

An anthology that stresses historical and contemporary English language poetry and includes multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, American voices, and/or modern critical theory, and material on the technical terminology of poetic explication AND any contemporary English language poetry collection. Sample anthology titles, from the list above, include Poetry: A Writers' Guide and Anthology (Bloomsbury Writers' Guides and Anthologies), Don't Read Poetry: A Book about How to Read Poems, The Cambridge Guide to Reading Poetry, American Poetry to Read Aloud: A Collection of Diverse Poems. Sample poetry collections by contemporary poets with a focus on diverse and modern voices, from the list above, include: as she appears, Finna, Obit, Postcolonial Love Poem.

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

  1. Reading assignments include selections from assigned anthology, poetry collections, or primary sources of recognized canonical works and contemporary poetry
  2. Supplemental readings from secondary sources, such as journal articles, monographs, biographies, podcasts, and/or videos meant designed to familiarize students with ongoing debates and perspectives in the study of poetry
  3. Close reading poems and social-historical, literary contexts for selected poetry. Analysis of how a poem reflects a particular literary movement, style, or period, poetics, or a poet's literary and/or cultural contributions to literature
  4. Writing and research assignments may include journal entries, reading responses, annotated bibliographies, essays, and "unessay" projects that require summary, interpretation, analysis, and synthesis of original texts
  5. Attend and reflect on local poetry readings and/or online readings (or recordings of readings)