“You can endure almost anything as long as you can sing about it..” – James Wright
Ran into this quote via a tweet from Paris Review, regarding their interview with James Wright in 1975, which you can find in below link:
Loved the meaning of the sentence the moment I read it, and it recalls different meanings each time I read or think over it. Music, and water of course, are the two things I run / nestle to whenever I need to find relief, serenity and calm down. Actually music is always with me, in my both best and worst moments. Probably that is why I was attracted to this quote so much.. Also with this equation of music being relief for me, I perceived the meaning as a hope that never let life get you to a point where you close the door to find relief, to heal – whatever the source of that for you is..
In the interview, James Wright links this sentence to an Irish tradition of having the determination to live, and adds upon it, a story of an Irish Poet of the eighteenth century, Anthony Raftery. When asked who he is, while standing in the corner of a bar carrying a hand harp, the poet expresses himself as below.
“I am Raftery, the poet, full of hope and love, with no light in my eyes, and with gentleness that has no misery, going west upon my pilgrimage by the light of my heart, though feeble and tired to the end of my road, and behold me now, with my back to the wall, playing music unto empty pockets.” –translation of Dr. Douglas Hyde as stated in Paris Review interview.
and below is the music quote combined with a scene from Sainte-Chapelle concerts, listening to arias, where I used to go often and find relief and joy when I was in Paris.