Blanche Taylor Dickenson
By: Lizzy Huston

Blanche Taylor Dickenson

Very little is known about the Harlem Renaissance poet Blanche Taylor Dickenson. Blanche Taylor Dickenson was born in Kentucky in the year 1896. Blanche attended bothand Simmons University. Both of these schools where for African Americans. After attending school she became a school teacher. She then became a poet during the Harlem Renaissance . She was not very well known but she won the Buckner Award for her poem conspicuous promise. Her poems mostly appeared in anthologies and periodicals. Her poetry focused on women's equality compared to men who seemed to be higher than women. Her publishing time was very short and she was not known to the public. There is some controversy on weather or not she was married on account says that her husband Verdell Dickenson was a truck driver. While another account says that she was never married. No picture was avalible for Blanche but she was described as a beautiful young women. Blanche Taylor Dickenson died in 1972.

Four Great Walls

Four great walls have hemmed me in.
Four strong, high walls:
Right and wrong,
Shall and shan’t.
The mighty pillars tremble when
My conscious palls
And it sings its song-
I can’t, I can’t
If for a moment Samson’s strength
Were given me I’d shove
Them away from where I stand;
Free, I know I’d love
To ramble soul and all,
And never dread to strike a wall.
Again I wonder would that be
Such a happy state for me…
Then going, being doing, sham-
And never knowing where I am.
I might not love freedom at all;
My tired wings might crave a wall-
Four walls to rise and pen me in
This conscious world with guarded men.

I think that this poem is expressing Blanche's feelings of being less equal to men. I also think that she is talking about how African American women are less equal to White women. I also think that she is expressing how her skin color is holding her back in a way that she is trapped inside of it. For example in the fist line Four great walls have hemmed me in. This line to me shows that she is trapped and that the walls are high and strong and it is going to take a lot of work or a long time for these mighty walls to fall. Another reason why I think she is expressing a trap is the the line that she says I can't I can't. To me this doesn't me that she is not strong enof psychically but that it is not allowed. The word freedom is often repeated, perhapse it means that she is longing for that freedom that she can not have because of the color of her skin. She also mentions that she is tired of the fight. This poem really makes you think about how the African Americans felt during this time period although it was better then it was in the years before the Harlem Renaissance was not yet a time when African American and Whites where seen as equals yet.

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Honey, Maureen. "Shadowed dreams: women's poetry of ... - Google Books." Google Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. <>.