A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry forthcoming—B.P. (6/22)
“Coffee completes me” (6/22)
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“Sometimes all you need is a billion dollars” (6/22)
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Entry from November 20, 2014
“Courage is fear that has said its prayers”

"Courage is fear that has said its prayers” is a popular motivational quote on many posters, but it’s almost always misattributed. The line comes from the short poem “Courage” by Karle Wilson Baker (1878-1960) that was published in Poetry magazine in October 1921. The early citations credit Baker.

General John J. Pershing (1860-1948) was credited with the line in the 1940s, but there is no record that Pershing said it during World War I—or at any time. Other people who have been incorrectly credited with the line include poet Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), poet Maya Angelou (1928-2014), actress Dorothy Bernard (1890-1955), Christian author Joyce Meyer (born 1943), Christian author Ruth Fishel and Swiss theologian Karl Barth (1886-1968),


Wikipedia: Karle Wilson Baker
(Mrs.) Karle Wilson Baker (1878–1960) was an American poet and author, born in Little Rock, Ark. to Kate Florence Montgomery Wilson and William Thomas Murphey Wilson. Educated at the University of Chicago, she studied under poet William Vaughn Moody and novelist Robert Herrick, and later went on to write her own poems and novels. In spite of the frequent mordant bits, her poems have visions of real beauty.

Poetry Foundation
October 1921, Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, “Three Small Poems,” pg. 16:
COURAGE
Courage is armor
A blind man wears;
That calloused scar
Of outlived despairs;
Courage is Fear
That has said its prayers.

22 September 1928, The Register (Sandusky, OH), pg. 10, col. 8:
Courage is fear that has said its prayers.

6 August 1929, Berkeley (CA) Daily Gazette, “California Poems Worth Repeating” edited by Nora Ross McCaffrey, pg. 7, col. 3:
COURAGE
Courage is armor
A blind man wears;
That calloused scar
Of outlived despairs;
Courage is Fear
That has said its prayers.
-- KARLE WILSON BAKER
(Member California Writers’ Club.)

20 January 1935, Boston (MA) Herald, Society sec., pg. 10, col. 2:
“COURAGE”
BY Wilson Baker
Courage is armor
A blind man wears;
That calloused scar
Of outlived despairs;
Courage is Fear
That has said its prayers.

Google Books
Strength for Service to God and Country:
Daily Devotional Messages for Those in the Services

By Norman E. Nygaard
New York, NY: Abingdon-Cokesbury
1942
Pg. 23:
Courage is armor
A blind man wears;
That calloused scar
Of outlived despairs;
Courage is Fear
That has said its prayers.
— KARLE WILSON BAKER

19 May 1942, Greensboro (NC) Record, “On Broadway” by Walter Winchell, pg. 6, col. 6:
K. W. Baker: Courage is fear that has said its prayers.

Google News Archive
26 December 1946, St. Petersburg (FL) Times, “In New York” by Walter Winchell, pg. 16, col. 2:
During the first World War, Gen Pershing visited a group of soldiers on Christmas Eve and joined them in prayers.

Later he told them: “All soldiers who have taken part in battles have been frightened at one time or another. None should be ashamed of that fear. The bravest men have accomplished heroic deeds despite their fear. For courage is fear that has said its prayers.”

Google Books
Good News Is for Sharing
By Leighton Ford
Elgin, IL: D.C. Cook Pub. Co.
1977
Pg. 17:
Courage is just fear that has said its prayers — it’s faith that has taken up its cross.

Google Books
The light Within You
By John R. Claypool
Waco, TX: Word Books
1983
Pg. 129:
Courage is not the capacity never to be afraid; as Karl Barth reminds us, “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.”

Google Books
Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much
By Anne Wilson Schaef
San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco
1992
Pg. 26:
Courage— fear that has said its prayers. — Dorothy Bernard

Google Books
Winning Words:
Quotations to Uplift, Inspire, Motivate and Delight

By Allen Klein
New York, NY: Portland House
2002, ©2001
Pg. 206:
Courage is fear that has said its prayers.
RUTH FISHEL

Twitter
Mark Batterson
‏@MarkBatterson
“Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” Gregory of Nyssa
11:43 AM - 11 Nov 2008

Twitter
Motivational Quotes
‏@motivation
“Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” - Dorothy Bernard http://tqpage.com/29699
7:00 AM - 25 Jan 2009

Twitter
Barbara Duke
‏@BarbaraDuke
•Courage is fear that has said its prayers. Maya Angelou #quote #TL2U
10:18 AM - 24 Jul 2010

Twitter
Scotty Smith
‏@ScottyWardSmith
“Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” Anne Lamott
7:03 PM - 3 Oct 2010

Twitter
Metwell
‏@Metwelldotcom
Courage - fear that has said its prayers.- Ralph Waldo Emerson http://metwell.com
8:26 PM - 13 Nov 2010

Twitter
Pursuing Purpose
‏@PPM_Ministry
“Courage is fear that has said its prayers and decided to go forward anyway.”
― Joyce Meyer,
12:22 AM - 10 Oct 2013

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Thursday, November 20, 2014 • Permalink