River inscrutable, river mysterious,
Mornings or evenings, in gray skies or blue,
Thousands of toilers in gay mood or serious,
Workward and homeward have gazed upon you.
Swirling or sluggish, but ever inscrutable,
Sparkling or oily, but never the same;
You, like the city, mysterious, mutable,
Tremble with passions which no on can name.
About This Poem
"From a Bridge Car" was published in Elias Lieberman's first poetry collection, Paved Streets (The Cornhill Company, 1917). His early poems express a deep connection to New York City and, more broadly, a love of America. Lieberman's best-known poem, "I Am An American," opens Paved Streets.
Elias Lieberman was born in 1883 in Russia and emigrated to the United States with his family at the age of seven. He was raised in New York City where he graduated from the City College of New York in 1903 and later received his PhD from New York University. After teaching English in the public school system for many years, Lieberman worked for the New York Board of Education as an associate superintendent of schools in charge of the junior high school division. He died in 1969.