WRITING STYLES: Patience and Irene

Irene Hickman, D.O.

Dr. Irene Hickman, D.O.

Patience Worth predicted that there would be  writing by others who would propose that it came from Patience Worth.  But Patience cautioned that such writing would not be the “put’ of her, meaning that it would not have come from her. One notable example is a book of poems self-published by Irene Hickman a doctor of osteopathy who discovered the benefits of hypnotherapy and who later in her life, founded the National Society of Hypnotherapists.  She was a past president of the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association and author of “Mind Probe-Hypnosis” and “Remote Depossession“.

She was a believer in spirits and used past-life regression and spirit release in her therapies.  According to Anne Spencer’s tribute to Dr. Hickman after her death on November 5, 2002,  “hundreds of thousands of persons have been helped to heal because of this great woman and her abilities as a physician and a hypnotherapist. . . .and a role model for all.  She was a pioneer when women were thought to be nothing more than a homemaker.” 

She was reported to be known for her “ground-breaking efforts at land value assessment after she was elected as Sacramento, California county property tax assessor in 1966.  So you see, Irene Hickman was no piker; she apparently was a well-educated, professional woman who helped a lot of people and made a significant contribution to society.

In the preface of her book  “I Knew Patience Worth” self-published in 1971 Hickman states she became acquainted with a woman who served as amanuensis (those who write about Patience Worth like to use that word) for Patience Worth and became known to her in the fall of 1947.  Hickman states that  “I came to know her well, and to realize that her shy sensitive nature impelled her to avoid the kind of publicity that had constantly surrounded Mrs. [Pearl] Curran.  I have therefore given her a fictitious name (Anne), and have also disguised those other persons who are mentioned in order to protect her from the distress that I know would be hers should she become the subject of publicity and attention.”

Well, that’s all well and good but I wish she hadn’t done that. It would be nice to know who “Anne” really was.  “For Anne, the writer, the experience was many faceted as she would find that the words were frequently accompanied by imagery, sounds, and even odors appropriate to the writing of the moment.  The words came to her unbidden and would ring through her head in the manner of a well-known popular song.  When the first phrase would be written down, then would come the second, and then the third until the completion of one message.” 

Dr. Hickman provides a disclaimer in the preface to “I Knew Patience Worth” in which she says “I am specifically avoiding any attempt to provide proof, either that Patience Worth is what she claims to be – – – a discarnate spirit – – – or that the material here presented is actually hers,  “

Well, I surely don’t know if the material in the book was really channeled from the Patience Worth of Pearl Curran.  I think that Irene Hickman was sincere in her belief that it may have been.  It is for the reader to decide if the material channeled by “Anne” from “Patience Worth” from 1947 through 1950 was coming from the same entity that wrote through Pearl Curran from 1913 until December 1937 when Pearl Curran died.  I have to be honest and say that I don’t think it was.  It seems to me that some of it, especially in the first part of the book, appears to be a very bad parody of the writing of Pearl Curran’s Patience Worth.  The later poems loose the contrived archaisms and seem to be from a different writer. Perhaps those poems, some of which are half-way tolerable, more likely represent the real writing of “Anne” when she was emotionally distracted and forgot to mimic Patience Worth.

Here are a few examples.  This first example was given to provide encouragement for Hickman .

Look ‘e, beloved, fear not thy stand.
O’er lo’ for a pence is wronged yea,
But knowin’ a pence be a pence is nay more
Than usin’ the mindie the Lord ha’e gi’en thee.
Thy handies are to heal; if then a word be gi’en
To add to the healin’ that be goodsome.
But she doth prod a whit and tread
‘Pon ground too newed.
It taketh great ponderin’ to be a mindie prodder,
E’en as it doth to be a healer wi’ the hands.
Thou shalt find thy way through thy strength.
There ha’e been times when thou didst to wonder,
 “Be the wrong athin me.” Think not ‘pon it.
The lass be fined and sweet added,
But she shall to throw much food
For crows and knoweth not they will eat
As long as the food be there.
If she could be made to see
That she cannot make herself
A crutch for everyman,
For some men lo’ the feel o’ leanin’.


Look, I have sillied the day.
I have sought songs when songs are not to be sought.
Songs are birthed within the heart
And bide there till the heart opes and frees them.
I have prodded fancy, and fancy is not a mule
But a deer that is seen an instant
‘Mid the halo of the sun within a glade.
Then at this instant must we drink the full of her.
Tether her not, but cherish the image we saw
Till we can bring it forth.
I have clawed at the realm of creation’s door
And known not the opening.
For it takes but a breath, a word, to ope.
Let fancy weave round thee like fairy smoke,
But put it not within a box
Or when thou seeketh next
‘Twill be as nought.

(According to Hickman “Helen once commented that so many men she had known had wanted to marry her and she could not understand why this was so.  She asked Patience to explain.”)

Wench, wench, wench!  How many ither wenches looked at anither and said, “What is it?”  If then there were someone who could tell them the secret, the universe would be bedlam.  I of all ato tell, egad!
Hath watched the tabby walkin’ soft footed wi’ grace?  She be wi’ out awareness that she be so.  I think me thy most perilous weapon be thy damned stupidity.  For thou speaketh soft-voiced unto a lad, thou holdeth out the cup o’ understanding, and the hand holdin’ the cup lacketh not grace.  Then thou wondereth why he thinketh thou art lone the one.  Look thee back ‘pon each lad that hath trod thy path.  Hath any one o’ them a whit o’ likeness?  Nay, yet each foundeth something in thee.  Tend to soft speakin’ unto thy laddie and let ither lassies understand the universe.


I say me I feel a whit fearsome for the lassies
Who would fill nature’s attributes with ither substance.
Ye know there be an adage that the proof o’ the cloth
Is in the feel.



Like a well-loved familiar dwelling is this house of life.  We know each corner of it, and the way the sun touches it and the way the hearth feels to the cold fingers on a winter’s eve.  A well-loved dwelling dear to us it becomes.  Even the ugly places become beautiful because they are part of it.

If then one of us is called to leave this home we have found so protective, we know fear within our hearts and sorrow at the leaving of our brother.  Let us then know this.  Our fear is that we must leave too one day and our sorrow that we shall not see the beloved.  If then it were known, when these called ones leave through the door the opening of the door is difficult and filled with pain for it is still fleshly, but when the door closes, then we lose sight of them and know not that their feet take wing and their arms are outstretched, for they have found their home again in greater understanding.

Rejoice then.  Sorrow not, for they are upon a new wondrous path that is not written of in earthly words.  Remember when the door closed upon thee, ’tis just opened for thy fellow who passed through it.  Let then not thy house of life cling to thee – – -for nay man comes unto his God with his house upon his back.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *