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The Conference of the Birds

The Conference of the Birds

Paperback Penguin Classics Language: English / Persian

By (author) Farid Attar, By (author) Farid Ud-Din Attar, Edited by Afkham Darbandi, Translated by Afkham Darbandi, Edited by Dick Davis, Translated by Dick Davis

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  • Publisher: PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • Format: Paperback | 304 pages
  • Language: English / Persian
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 22mm | 220g
  • Publication date: 3 July 1984
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0140444343
  • ISBN 13: 9780140444346
  • Sales rank: 17,272

Product description

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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Author information

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.

Review quote

"This felicitous translation is a classic and reaches the widest possible audience."--David Azzolina, Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania