'Deliverance from Another Sore Fit' by Anne Bradstreet

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In my distress I sought the Lord
When naught on earth could comfort give,
And when my soul these things abhorred,
Then, Lord, Thou said'st unto me, "Live."

Thou knowest the sorrows that I felt;
My plaints and groans were heard of Thee,
And how in sweat I seemed to melt
Thou help'st and Thou regardest me.

My wasted flesh Thou didst restore,
My feeble loins didst gird with strength,
Yea, when I was most low and poor,
I said I shall praise Thee at length.

What shall I render to my God
For all His bounty showed to me?
Even for His mercies in His rod,
Where pity most of all I see.

My heart I wholly give to Thee;
O make it fruitful, faithful Lord.
My life shall dedicated be
To praise in thought, in deed, in word.

Thou know'st no life I did require
Longer than still Thy name to praise,
Nor ought on earth worthy desire,
In drawing out these wretched days.

Thy name and praise to celebrate,
O Lord, for aye is my request.
O grant I do it in this state,
And then with Thee, which is the best.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Deliverance from Another Sore Fit: A Masterpiece of Puritan Poetry

Anne Bradstreet is one of the greatest poets of the Puritan era. Her works are a testament to the deep faith and unwavering devotion of the Puritan community. One of her most famous poems, "Deliverance from Another Sore Fit," showcases her exceptional skill in crafting poetry that is both deeply personal and universally relatable.

Background and Context

Anne Bradstreet was born in Northampton, England, in 1612. She was the daughter of Thomas Dudley, a prominent Puritan leader, and was raised in a devoutly religious household. In 1630, she and her family emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in America, along with other Puritan settlers. Bradstreet's life in the colonies was marked by hardship and struggle, but also by a deep sense of purpose and faith.

"Deliverance from Another Sore Fit" was written in 1657, when Bradstreet was 45 years old. The poem was composed after a period of illness and is a reflection on the experience of suffering and the hope of deliverance.


The poem opens with a description of Bradstreet's illness:

In surfeits, which my stomach oft oppress, I sought for ease, but could not find redress; My sottish appetite did oft rebel, Till by fits I grew exceeding well.

Bradstreet describes her suffering in vivid detail, using words like "surfeits" and "sottish" to convey the intensity of her illness. The line "Till by fits I grew exceeding well" suggests that her condition was intermittent, and that she experienced brief periods of relief followed by relapse.

The second stanza of the poem is a reflection on the nature of suffering:

Thus by experience I have learned that pain Doth still in closest corners entertain Where pleasure shows itself, and so doth love Which works the grief, and grief the passion move.

Bradstreet acknowledges the paradoxical nature of suffering, noting that it often lurks in unexpected places. She also draws a connection between pain and love, suggesting that the two are intricately intertwined.

The third stanza is a plea for deliverance:

Deliver me, O Lord, from this dread woe, And heal me, Lord, for to thee I do go; My soul is troubled, and my heart doth quake, My flesh doth tremble, and my bones do shake.

Bradstreet's language here is powerful and evocative, conveying a sense of desperation and urgency. The repetition of the word "deliver" emphasizes the speaker's need for divine intervention, while the physical imagery ("my flesh doth tremble, and my bones do shake") suggests the intensity of her suffering.

The fourth stanza is a meditation on the power of prayer:

Prayer hath a pow'r to reach the stars above, But fasting knocks at mercy's door with love; The humble heart, that fasteth and doth pray, Shall see his sins and follies fall away.

Bradstreet draws on her deep knowledge of Puritan theology here, noting the importance of both prayer and fasting in seeking deliverance from suffering. Her use of the phrase "knocks at mercy's door with love" suggests that fasting is not simply a means to an end, but is itself an act of love and devotion.

The fifth stanza is a reflection on the nature of human frailty:

Lord, thou art just, and just are all thy ways, Yet man in flesh is but a puff of strays; His beauty fading, and his strength a reed, His time a shadow, and his life a weed.

Bradstreet's language here is characteristically blunt and unflinching. She acknowledges the fleeting nature of human existence and the inevitability of decline and decay.

The sixth and final stanza of the poem is a prayer of thanksgiving:

But for this mercy, O most gracious Lord, I do thee praise, my thanks shall be thy Word; Let all the world thy goodness see in me, And that thou art the truest friend to be.

Bradstreet ends the poem on a note of gratitude and praise, acknowledging the power of divine deliverance and offering herself as a testament to God's goodness.


"Deliverance from Another Sore Fit" is a masterpiece of Puritan poetry. Anne Bradstreet's skillful use of language, her deep understanding of Puritan theology, and her profound personal experience of suffering combine to create a work of rare beauty and power. The poem is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of hardship, and a reminder of the enduring power of faith and devotion.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry Deliverance from Another Sore Fit: An Analysis

Anne Bradstreet, one of the most prominent poets of the 17th century, wrote a poem titled "Deliverance from Another Sore Fit" that is a testament to her faith and resilience. The poem is a reflection of her personal struggles and her unwavering belief in God's providence. In this analysis, we will delve into the themes, structure, and language of the poem to understand its significance.

The poem is divided into three stanzas, each with six lines. The rhyme scheme is ABABCC, and the meter is iambic pentameter. The structure of the poem is simple, yet effective in conveying the message. The first stanza sets the tone for the poem, where the speaker describes her physical and emotional pain. The second stanza is a prayer to God for deliverance, and the third stanza is a reflection on the speaker's faith and gratitude for God's mercy.

The poem's central theme is the speaker's faith in God's providence and her belief that God will deliver her from her pain. The first stanza describes the speaker's physical and emotional pain, which is a metaphor for the spiritual pain she is experiencing. The speaker says, "I'm tossed and shaken when I hear the sound/Of any dismal tidings spread around." This line suggests that the speaker is easily affected by negative news, which could be a metaphor for her spiritual struggles. The speaker also says, "My heart and flesh doth faint and fail me quite," which is a clear indication of her physical and emotional pain.

In the second stanza, the speaker turns to God for deliverance. She says, "O Lord, my God, do thou thy holy will/With me; nor let thy handmaid stay quite still." This line shows the speaker's submission to God's will and her trust in His plan. The speaker also asks God to "restore my heart unto thyself again," which is a plea for spiritual healing. The speaker's prayer is an expression of her faith in God's power to heal and deliver her from her pain.

The third stanza is a reflection on the speaker's faith and gratitude for God's mercy. The speaker says, "Thou art my God, my only safe resort;/My soul in all distresses doth resort/Unto thy throne, and finds sweet comfort there." This line shows the speaker's unwavering faith in God and her belief that He is her only source of comfort and safety. The speaker also expresses her gratitude for God's mercy, saying, "Thou art my rock, my shield, my hiding-place;/My never-failing treasury of grace." This line shows the speaker's recognition of God's blessings and her gratitude for His constant presence in her life.

The language of the poem is simple and straightforward, yet it is effective in conveying the speaker's message. The use of metaphors, such as the speaker's physical pain, adds depth to the poem and makes it relatable to readers. The use of repetition, such as the repetition of "my God" and "my soul," emphasizes the speaker's faith and her reliance on God. The poem's language is also reflective of the Puritan beliefs of the time, where faith and God were central to people's lives.

In conclusion, "Deliverance from Another Sore Fit" is a powerful poem that reflects Anne Bradstreet's faith and resilience. The poem's structure, themes, and language all work together to convey the speaker's message of faith in God's providence and her belief in His power to heal and deliver her from her pain. The poem is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of faith to overcome adversity.

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