The largest Fire ever known
Occurs each Afternoon —
Discovered is without surprise
Proceeds without concern —
Consumes and no report to men
An Occidental Town,
Rebuilt another morning
To be burned down again.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem The largest Fire ever known


  1. Anna says:

    I think this relates to the gold rush of 1848. She would have been 18 at the time, but she could have written about it later on. The largest fire–relating to the sun at noontime, burns down another town every single day. That refers to how towns would be built up around a spot with gold then would be deserted when the gold left. It became so common that at that point no one really blinked an eye at the fact. Occidental means ‘to the west’ and as it happened in California, it would have super been in the west compared to where most Americans lived at the time.

  2. Ruth says:

    its about the sun coming up every day and consuming everything

  3. Derek says:

    This poem is about the sun, which is the largest fire.

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