Teasdale wrote “The Tune” in October 1923, and it was published in Poetry in April 1924. It was later collected in Dark of the Moon (1926). Wrote William Drake in his biography of the poet: “In late October, she wrote on of the nearly perfect lyrics typical of her later work, ‘The Tune.’ The ‘certain tune that my life plays’ rises in an arc with mounting swiftness until it pauses at the top, “High over time, high even over doubt,’ then ‘faltering blindly down the air, goes out.’ It combines the abstractness of music with a physical sense of movement and balance, like a path of a skyrocket, although nowhere is such a comparison actually suggested. She becomes a detached observer of the pattern of her own life, watching without emotion its predictable end.”
Here is a rough demo:
Chord Sheet (PDF): The Tune, by Sara Teasdale
© 2021, Mark R. Adams. All rights reserved.