'where are the big people'

Anne Sexton .jpg
The Fury of Overshoes - Poem as Friend to Laura
by Anne Sexton

The Fury of Overshoes

They sit in a row
outside the kindergarten,
black, red, brown, all
with those brass buckles.
Remember when you couldn't
buckle your own
or tie your own
or tie your own shoe
or cut your own meat
and the tears
running down like mud
because you fell off your
Remember, big fish,
when you couldn't swim
and simply slipped under
like a stone frog?
The world wasn't
It belonged to
the big people.
Under your bed
sat the wolf
and he made a shadow
when cars passed by
at night.
They made you give up
your nightlight
and your teddy
and your thumb.
Oh overshoes,
don't you
remember me,
pushing you up and down
in the winter snow?
Oh thumb,
I want a drink,
it is dark,
where are the big people,
when will I get there,
taking giant steps
all day,
each day
and thinking
nothing of it?

Reproduced by permission of SLL/Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc. Copyright Linda Gray Sexton and Loring Conant, Jr. 1981.


Poem as Friend to Laura

The Fury of OvershoesAnne Sexton

In this episode, Laura talks about the poem that has been a friend to her – 'The Fury of Overshoes' by Anne Sexton.

Our thanks to the Anne Sexton Estate and Sterling Lord Literistic Agency for allowing us to share the poem with you in this way.


Laura Furner is an arts producer living and working in London. A commended poet for the Foyle Young Poet of the Year Award in 2012, Laura went on to edit and publish work in the University of Leeds' creative arts magazine The Scribe, and has since worked with The Poetry Society and Poet in the City. She is currently producing a new spoken word show for VAULT Festival 2020. You can follow Laura on twitter @laurahjayne

Laura visited The Poetry Exchange at London Podcast Festival at Kings Place in 2019. www.kingsplace.co.uk

Laura is in conversation with The Poetry Exchange team members, Andrea Witzke-Slot and Al Snell. Andrea reads the gift reading of 'The Fury of Overshoes.'


We talk to people about the poem that has been a friend to them.

In exchange we create a gift for them, a bespoke reading of their chosen poem inspired by the conversation. Our award-winning podcast shares these unique and powerful stories of connection with people across the world. 


We set up an intimate environment for these conversations at festivals, in arts, cultural and public spaces across the country. We also hold exchanges ‘long distance’. Our visitors come from all walks of life and we also feature well-known personalities such as Andrew Scott, Maxine Peake, Roy McFarlane and Paterson Joseph.