Posted by: Abby Caplin, MD | February 14, 2011

Healing Poetry

This poem, “When Someone Deeply Listens To You,” by John Fox is a wonderful reminder about the importance of listening. When we deeply listen, we help others heal. And when we can deeply listen to our different “selves,” whether through writing, friends or therapists, we help heal ourselves as well!


When Someone Deeply Listens To You

When someone deeply listens to you

it is like holding out a dented cup

you’ve had since childhood

and watching it fill up with

cold, fresh water.

When it balances on top of the brim,

you are understood.

When it overflows and touches your skin,

you are loved.

When someone deeply listens to you

the room where you stay

starts a new life

and the place where you wrote

your first poem

begins to glow in your mind’s eye.

It is as if gold has been discovered!

When someone deeply listens to you

your barefeet are on the earth

and a beloved land that seemed distant

is now at home within you.

—  John Fox

© John Fox

Used by permission of the author.



  1. Hi Abby!

    I love this poem! I volunteer for a local hospice organization and this poem struck me so profoundly as a feeling I feel when I am sitting vigil at a patient’s bedside. I am alone with them but quite near and I know they can feel me. It is as if they are “deeply listening to me” but cannot respond. It is a joyful peace that we share together, sojourners…one leaving one still making her way.


    Cathryn Hasek

    • Hi Cathryn,

      Thank you for sharing your experience. It is profound and beautiful.
      Many thanks for your post!


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