Neighborhood Poetry

Poems use words to paint a picture, describe a feeling, capture a sound, or express your artistic creativity about the world around you! Today, let’s explore how poets write about buildings and neighborhoods the same way that an artist uses paint and pencils to draw a scene on a city street.

Just like a builder, poets use different tools to craft their work. Look at the chart below. How many of these poetry tools do you know? Which of them would you use in your own poems?

A sensory poem describes how a poet perceives what something looks like, tastes like, feels like, and sounds like. We are going to use what we see around us as our inspiration, and let’s start by using poems and illustrations by Lillian More from her book Mural on Second Avenue. Her poems speak to the joys and everyday wonders of city living, and they are brought to life with illustrator Roma Kara’s simple, vibrant pictures. We will use them to think about how to create an image though language- visualization.

Take a look at the picture on the left and think about these questions…

  • What do you see in the picture?
  • What clues can you see in the picture that tells you what the poem might be about?
  • What might the title of the poem be?

Then, use the slider to scroll to the left to read the real poem!

Now try it with this picture!

If you were writing a poem about this picture, what would it be about? What would it be called?


Brownstone Worksheet


Listen to the poem below, and draw what you visualize.



Writing or drawing supplies (or use your touchscreen!)



Building Detectives Sketch Sheet


Look at the four pictures below, or take inspiration from the view outside your window or on the street. Write a poem about what you see, or about what it makes you feel.


Worksheet (either printed or on your computer)


Check Out Our Other KPF Kids Programs

Neighborhood Explorers


Discover all of the different pieces that make up your community! Learn all about the buildings where people live, eat, and shop while imagining your dreams for the future.

Local History Detectives


What did your neighborhood look like 100 years ago? Explore old photographs and maps to see how the streets around you have changed over time.


KPF is made possible by the contributions of Council Members Helen Rosenthal and Mark Levine, as well as the New York State Council of the Arts (NYSCA) and the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA). With their support, Landmark West’s KPF program offers a suite of seven 3-part courses aligned with the NYC Core Curriculum in Upper West Side public schools for free every year.

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