Alexander, or: Alexander

A quadrille in memory of Papa z”l

(in two limericks)


Alexander hacked the Gordian Knot;
Defeated all armies he fought;
With lightning sword,
Secured his reward...
... Unknown remains his burial plot


My Papa conceived 'Cut The Knot',
Believing education ought be rethought
Blazing forth new path,
Spreading passion for math;
Personal gain? Merely... afterthought

The above combination of two limericks is my take on d’Verse’s Quadrille challenge #124.

The quadrille is simply a poem of 44 words (excluding the title), and it can take any form. This week’s challenge was to use the word “knot” in a quadrille.

84 thoughts on “Alexander, or: Alexander”

      1. I know what you mean. However, the personality of your father and the way you relate to him now fascinates me. I lost my father in 2019 and it’s been hell. I have moments when I replay fragments of our life … I still cannot talk about. You are an exceptional writer David.

        1. 💔 Gabriela 💔

          Thank you for sharing that with me, Gabriela. I deeply appreciate it, and I am so sorry for your loss.


    1. Thanks so much, Bev!

      In truth, the first one is also directly related to the second one because Papa named his life’s work after that story about Alexander the Great… in part because his own first name was also Alexander!


  1. Love this, David! The limerick deserves more respect, and should be applied to more than, “There was a young lady from…” These limericks serve well as a tribute to your father. ❤ All the best!

  2. two powerful limericks about two very different men! That form of logical yet complicated solutions is a real form of art.

    Your passionate devotion to your father is indeed intriguing 🙂

  3. I’m so glad that you were able to use “knot” to tell us more about your father’s accomplishments and passion for teaching. He may have been humble as you mentioned in your comments, but I’m sure he would be so proud of the way you honor him.

  4. As I’ve mentioned, the limerick is hard for me. Perhaps I should take a page from your book and look at it as half of a quadrille! I enjoyed this tribute wrapped in poetry! Awesome!

      1. please come write for . I’m a contributing writer to one of their media platforms , “The Good Men Project.” You would love it ! Check it out !!! Here’s my link: Hope you join us . You’d be a wonderful asset. We have weekly zoom calls with our publishers and editors to improve our craft and share ideas. Hope to see you there ! your new friend, Ruben Avilio

        1. Ruben, I’m so honored by your invitation, but I barely have the time to write for my own blog… I don’t think I’ll have time to write for somebody else’s…


    1. He used to be a professor, Dwight, but he was almost deaf so he left teaching. But when the Internet became available in people’s homes, he took to teaching online.


  5. I always enjoy complementary poems that share parallel themes, ideas, or motifs.
    These are gems and the one about your papa says so much about the man he was. 💓

    1. In a way, Michele, they’re both [sort of] about my Papa because he choose the name ‘Cut The Knot’ for his project, based upon the story of Alexander the Great.


    1. Lauren, thank you. Based upon what I’ve read of your writing, I don’t really know what to say about your non-relationship with your father 😦


  6. I would like to read more of this kind of limerick, David, much more interesting and compelling than the jaunty kind. A classical tribute to your father, and I like the rhyme scheme that links the two limericks (as well as the knot theme) to make a quadrille.

  7. Clever to frame this as two limericks, and I am sure a fitting tribute to your father! The idea of spreading passion for a subject seems to be sadly lacking in a lot of modern educational institutions.

    1. That was my father’s deep conviction – that many people are irrationally “afraid” of math because they haven’t been taught to appreciate it, and that they should first be shown its beauty and allowed to develop their own motivation to study it.


  8. A clever and wonderful tribute to your father–I like the connection in poetry and real life. I had to look him and Cut the Knot up–what a fantastic book/project/life’s work!

  9. From Alexander we learn, we are fighter with strong desires & dreams.
    On the other hand, Education set morals for our life. It give direction to our life.
    Great job 👏🏻👏🏻💐💐

  10. A quadrille in two limericks is cute, but most importantly, you drew a very apt contrast, David, and a wonderful tribute to your father. You do know, I trust, that Alexander became a popular Jewish name in honor of Alexander the Great.
    Have a great day,

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