Published on Academy of American Poets (

From a Bridge Car

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.


This poem is in the public domain.


Elias Lieberman

Elias Lieberman was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, on October 30, 1883. In 1891, at the age of seven, he immigrated with his family to New York City. Lieberman earned his AB from the City College of New York in 1903, then his MA and PhD from New York University. He spent many years working in the New York City public school system, teaching at P.S. 62, Bushwick High School, and Thomas Jefferson High School, where he served as principal. In 1940, Lieberman accepted a position as an associate superintendent of schools, in charge of the junior high school division. Lieberman also served as editor of Puck, literary editor of The American Hebrew, and contributing editor for Current Literature.

Lieberman’s poetry collections include Notation in Haste (Profile Press, 1976), To My Brothers Everywhere (Dutton, 1954), and Man in the Shadows (Liveright Publishing, 1939), among others. He is best known for his poem “I Am an American,” which was published in 1916.

Lieberman died on July 13, 1969, in South Richmond Hill, New York.

Selected Bibliography


Notation in Haste (Profile Press, 1976)
To My Brothers Everywhere (Dutton, 1954)
Man in the Shadows (Liveright Publishing, 1939)
Poems for Enjoyment (McGraw-Hill, 1931)
The Hand Organ Man (Saga Press, 1930)
Paved Streets (Cornhill Company, 1918)

Date Published: 1917-01-01

Source URL: