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The Conference of the Birds
by Farid Attar
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"Mantiq al-tayr" (the conference of the birds) is an elaborate allegory with many digressions. It describes how all the birds (human souls) set out in search of the Simurgh (the godhead). All but 30 die and the survivors realize that they themselves are the Simurgh.
Composed in the twelfth century in north-eastern Iran, Attar's great mystical poem is among the most significant of all works of Persian literature. A marvellous, allegorical rendering of the Islamic doctrine of Sufism - an esoteric system concerned with the search for truth through God - it describes the consequences of the conference of the birds of the world when they meet to begin the search for their ideal king, the Simorgh bird. On hearing that to find him they must undertake an arduous journey, the birds soon express their reservations to their leader, the hoopoe. With eloquence and insight, however, the hoopoe calms their fears, using a series of riddling parables to provide guidance in the search for spiritual truth. By turns witty and profound, The Conference of the Birds transforms deep belief into magnificent poetry.
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About Farid Attar
Farid ud-Din Attar, accounted as one of the greatest poets of Persia, was born around 1120 A.D. in Nishapur (also the birth place of Omar Khayyam) in North Eastern Iran. He was one of the earliest Sufi poets of Persia. He died shortly before 1220. His other chief works are Memorial of the Saints, The Book of the Divine, The Book of Affliction and The Book of Secrets.
The Conference of the Birds by Farid Attar
Used - Very Good
Penguin Books Ltd
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