Can listening as one listens to or reads poetry complement narrative approaches in pastoral care? The fragmented, open ended, metaphorical and episodic character of what people tell in pastoral encounters is often more like poetry than story. Applying instruments of poetic analysis to what people tell, opens new insights into those texts, whether originally written or oral. That experimental, heuristic practice in poetic reading finds a complement in reflections on characteristics of poetry and on narrative and poetic modes of practical theology. That results in a congeniality of theological and poetic reading in attention to metaphor, fragments, framing and reframing.