Poetry As Medicine

In 2017 I came across the work of Kim Rosen, who uses poetry to heal individuals and communities. I had already received a number of poems over the previous few years, and had discovered for myself how profound a poem can be when it resonates. This was a complete surprise to me as I’d always thought I didn’t “get poetry” and I certainly didn’t expect to be using it myself in a homeopathic way.

I started to read poems for myself, starting with Mary Oliver, and I discovered I really loved it! I then read Kim Rosen’s book “Saved by a Poem”, which documents her experiences of poetry as medicine, and this helped me look at poems in a completely different way and understand why I’d always felt poetry to be alien to me.

I’m hoping to do some training with Kim in the future, and for now I’m working with two people she’s trained, John Hillman and Jules Heavens, and learning from them, as well as from the poems themselves. I will give a client a poem if I sense that this will be helpful in their healing journey; it isn’t necessarily something they ask for, but more if a poem says what I feel it will help them to hear.

In my work I currently use poems written by Mary Oliver, Marie Howe, Rumi, David Whyte, Mark Nepo, and other contemporary and past poets.

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