“PAUL STROBLE’S POETRY IS THE GENUINE VOICE OF THE MIDWEST, DEEPLY EMOTIONAL BUT WITHOUT SENTIMENTALITY. WITH WHAT ONLY CAN BE CALLED ART, HE NAILS THE HARD TRUTH OF LIVES AT ONCE TROUBLED YET COMPLETE. THE SKILL OF THESE POEMS IS IN THEIR BEAUTIFUL IMAGES, THEIR UNCOMPROMISING TRUTHS, AND, FINALLY, THEIR QUIET JOY.”
-TOM DUKES, UNIVERSITY OF AKRON
By Paul Stroble
Aunt Friede got eye strain,
the viewer pressed against her face
so often, each image to each eye
and then blending,
illusion of depth and dimension.
It’s not that she didn’t love the farm,
plowed by her own father
who died on the front forty,
nor did she long for more of the world
than what she’d seen
and what would have saved to see.
But she fancied traveling the globe
as a stereographer, visiting place after place
to the Taj Mahal to the Cliffs of Moher
and any place worthy
of a dream’s double image.
This poem is included in the chapbook Little River (Finishing Line Press), and first appeared in Pegasus.
"Paul Stroble has mined his memories of growing up in small-town Illinois to create this delightful collection of poems. We readers experience walking the Nickel Plate rail line as kids and later see the scattered parts of a blue car and hear parents admonish their teens to always ‘look both ways, look again, then look again.’ Stroble takes us inside the mind of a child processing the fears of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and we get to participate in barber shop mirror images, a three-minute call from a phone booth, church on a snowy Sunday, and searches for morel mushrooms. This poet takes us back to the complexities of times we now call simple."
–Dwight Bitikofer, president, St. Louis Poetry Center and publisher, Webster-Kirkwood Times
CONTRIBUTIONS TO SPRINGHOUSE
- "Chester Loomis' Journey on Horseback through the Great West in 1825," five-part series, 2010.
- "Illinois Politics, 1819-1839," eight-part series, June 1998-Aug. 1999.
- "The Big Jump: An Unknown Lincoln Legend from Southern Illinois," Feb. 1988.
- "Perryville: A Vanished Town," March 1985.
Essays (several reprinted in Journey's Home, above):
- “A Little Mozart,” 25:4 (2008).
- “Revisiting ‘Peanuts’,” 25:3 (2008).
- “Thank You, RVW,” 25:2 (2008)
- “Memory Lapses,” 25:1 (2008)
- “Keeping in Touch,” 24:6 (2007)
- “The Sailor Man from Chester,” 24:1 (2007)
- “Indelible Art,” 23:4 (2006)
- “Summer,” 23:3 (2006)
- “James Hall’s Essay: The First Bell,” Fall 2003.
- "Don't Snore/On I-64." Fall 2003.
- "Thoughts on Emily Dickinson's Nobody." Summer 2003.
- "My Cousin Lewis." Spring 2003.
- "Antiquing." June 2003.
- "Butterflies," Aug. 1995.
- "The Oatmeal Box," April 1995.
- "Wagner Matinees," Feb. 1995.
- "Impatience," Dec. 1994.
- "Lost in Translation," Oct.1994
- "Beards," April 1994.
- "The Fine Art of Garage Sales," Aug. 1992.
- "What Home Looks Life," June 1992.
- "Lawns," Oct. 1991.
- "Mother Roads," Feb. 1991.
- "Autumn Secrets," Oct. 1990.
- "We Happy Few, or, The Revenge of the Beef," June 1990.
- "Mail Order Country!" April 1990.
- "Take It Slow," Feb. 1990
- "Take Up and Read!" April 1989.
- "Summertime and Bare Feet," June 1988.
- "On 'Decoration Day’," April 1988.
Springhouse is a bimonthly magazine of southern Illinois history and literature. Dr. Stroble submitted all above work as “masthead” contributing author.
OTHER RESEARCH & CONTRIBUTIONS:
- Cover blurb (invited) for Adam Hamilton’s Christianity and World Religions: Wrestling with Questions People Ask (Abingdon Press, 2005).
- Cover blurb for Paul J. DeHart's Beyond the Necessary God: Trinitarian Faith and Philosophy in the Thought of Eberhard Jűngel (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1999).
- Contributor to One Hundred Fifty Years of Methodism in Vandalia, Illinois, commemorative booklet, 1981.
- Assisted the primary researcher for Heinz Monz, Ludwig Gall: Leben und Werk (Trier: Nco-Verlag Neu & Co., 1979).
- Assisted the architectural firm McDonald and Mack, Minneapolis, in historical research on the Vandalia Statehouse, for the study "Structural Inventory, Third Vandalia Statehouse," June 1979, as part of (hired) historical work with the Illinois Department of Conservation. Discovered and identified the possible original plan for the original cupola, referred to therein as the "Stroble Sketch," Appendix C and Appendix C Illustration 2.