You Never Said. We Didn't Ask: A Legacy from World War I
Author: Estella Lauter
Publisher: Finishing Line Press (2018)
"In these moving poems addressed to her father-in-law, a German-American who grew up in Carlstadt, NJ and joined this country’s war against the fatherland, Estella Lauter makes vivid the sketchy training, patriotic hopes, and visceral carnage of World War I—and why its survivors might not have wished to speak of it afterwards. This collection is a powerful tribute to the many soldiers who came home silent about their experience."
"These poems tell the story of a World War I artillery officer. At the same time they explore, in direct, clear, poetically charged language, the aftermath of war and the years of silence caused by the war experience in many veterans. This is contemplative poetry that is timeless even as it brings alive a past that has faded into history."
Loved ones often say they simply want to be remembered, never to be forgotten. Estella Lauter keeps the memory of her father-in-law alive in this artfully crafted collection of poems. She reconstructs the story he never told from the thin red book written and published by men in his artillery battery, learning what secrets he kept, speculating about his reasons for rejecting his German heritage, and reflecting on the one unlikely object he proudly shared from his experience in WWI—a crystal decanter. History comes alive in this riveting collection of poems.
–Annette Langlois Grunseth