Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2020
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 will have the opportunity to engage in deeper critical analysis and evaluation of poetry and its social, historical, and literary contexts to through the application of higher level, student-generated, student-centered discussion and creative assessments.

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 and poems of native people
c. Medieval to Renaissance lyrics
d. Romanticism: elevated personal and social consciousness
3. Advent of free verse and experimental poetry
a. The poetry of folk music, rock and roll, and hip-hop
b. Apply understanding of poetic elements
c. Explication
d. Denotation and connotation
e. Figurative language: simile, metaphor, symbol, etc.
f. 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, racial, 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
4. Formatting and documentation
E. Modern Language Association (MLA)

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

None required.

Method(s) of Evaluation

A. Critical papers and examinations in which students demonstrate mastery of both technical terminology and appreciative judgments, emphasizing analytic, synthetic and evaluative thinking.
B. Written work includes at least one critical essay, one midterm, one research-driven literature review, one self-directed, yet supervised, creative project, and a final essay examination.
C. In-class group collaborations and mini-presentations.

Method(s) of Instruction

A. Lecture presentations and classroom discussion using the language of poetry.
B. 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.

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

An anthology that stresses modern English language poetry, and includes multi-cultural, American voices, as well as modern critical theory, and material on the technical terminology of poetic explication AND any modern English language poetry collection, such as any combination of the books below:

Example Anthologies:

Furniss, Tom, and Michael Bath. Reading in Poetry. Harlow Pearson, 2007.

Hass, Robert. A Little Book on Form: An Exploration into the Formal Imagination of Poetry. New York, NY: Ecco, an Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2017. Print.

Hirsch, Edward. The Essential Poet's Glossary. Boston: Mariner, 2017. Print.

Kaladgian, Walter. Understanding Poetry. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005.

Meyers, Mike. Poetry. Boston: Bedford-Saint Martin's, 2012.

Poetry Collections:

Alexie, Sherman, and David Lehman. The Best American Poetry, 2015. New York: Scribner Poetry, 2015. Print.

Akbar, Kaveh. Portrait of the Alcoholic. Little Rock, AR: Sibling Rivalry, LLC, 2017. Print.

Corral, Eduardo C. Slow Lightning: Poems. New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 2012. Print.

Coval, Kevin, Quraysh Ali Lansana, and Nate Marshall. The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-hop. Chicago, IL: Haymarket, 2015. Print.

Dove, Rita. The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-century American Poetry. New York: Penguin, 2013. Print.

Guerrero, Laurie Ann. A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying. Notre Dame, IN: U of Notre Dame, 2013. Print.

Herrera, Juan Felipe. Notes on the Assemblage. San Francisco, CA: City Lights, 2015. Print.

Limon, Ada. Bright Dead Things: Poems. Minneapolis, MN: Milkweed Editions, 2015. Print.

Parker, Morgan. There Are More Beautiful Things than Beyonce. Portland, OR: Tin House, 2017. Print.

Sharif, Solmaz. Look: Poems. Minneapolis, MN: Graywolf, 2016. Print.

Sinclair, Safiya. Cannibal. Lincoln: U of Nebraska, 2016. Print.

Smith, Tracy K. Life on Mars: Poems. Minneapolis, MN, 2011. Print.

Vuong, Ocean. Night Sky with Exit Wounds. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon, 2016. Print.

Willis-Abdurraqib, Hanif. The Crown Ain't worth Much. Minneapolis, MN: Button Poetry/Exploding Pinecone, 2016. Print.


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.

1. Analysis and application of textual criticism within the course assigned poetry anthology.

2. One week reading, research and writing assignments from a single author text.

3. Attend and report on one local poetry reading or single author DVD or VHS.