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The Conference of the Birds

By:
Paperback Book
Publisher: 
WW Norton
 | 
April, 2018
ISBN:
9780393355543
Quantity: 
3
$19.95 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

Considered by Rumi to be "the master" of Sufi mystic poetry, Attar (who died, in 1220, when Rumi was 12 years old) is best known for his epic poem The Conference of the Birds, a magnificent allegorical tale about the soul's search for meaning. The poem recounts the perilous journey of the world's birds to the faraway peaks of Mount Qaf—a mythical mountain that wraps around the earth—in search of the mysterious Simurgh, their king. Attar's beguiling anecdotes and humor intermingle the sublime with the mundane, the spiritual with the worldly, and the religious with the metaphysical. Reflecting the entire evolution of Sufi mystic tradition, Attar's poem models the soul's escape from the mind’s rational embrace.

The parables in this book trigger memories deep within us all. The stories inhabit the imagination, and slowly over time, their wisdom trickles down into the heart. The process of absorption is unique to every individual, as is each person’s journey. We are the birds in the story.

Sholeh Wolpé re-creates the intense beauty of the original Persian in contemporary English verse and poetic prose.

The seven valleys they must cross are:

  1. Valley of the Quest, where the Wayfarer begins by casting aside all dogma, belief, and unbelief
  2. Valley of Love, where reason is abandoned for the sake of love.
  3. Valley of Knowledge, where worldly knowledge becomes utterly useless
  4. Valley of Detachment, where all desires and attachments to the world are given up. Here, what is assumed to be “reality” vanishes.
  5. Valley of Unity, where the Wayfarer realizes that everything is connected and that the Beloved is beyond everything, including harmony, multiplicity, and eternity.
  6. Valley of Wonderment, where, entranced by the beauty of the Beloved, the Wayfarer becomes perplexed and, steeped in awe, find that he or she has never known of understood anything.
  7. Valley of Poverty and Annihilation, where the self disappears into the universe and the Wayfarer becomes timeless, existing in both the past and the future.

In the words of Attar:

This book is an ornament for the ages.
It offers something for both the high and low.

If you came sad and frozen to this book,

its hidden fire will blaze and melt your ice.

Yes, these verses are magic:

They grow more potent with each reading.

They are like beauty under a veil

that reveals its loveliness slowly.

Publisher’s Description: 

Considered by Rumi to be the master of Sufi mystic poetry, Attar is best known for his epic poem The Conference of the Birds, a magnificent allegorical tale about the souls search for meaning. The poem recounts the perilous journey of the worlds birds to the faraway peaks of Mount Qafa mythical mountain that wraps around the earthin search of their king, the mysterious Simorgh. Attars beguiling anecdotes and humor intermingle the sublime with the mundane, the spiritual with the worldly, and the religious with the metaphysical. Reflecting the entire evolution of Sufi mystic tradition, The Conference of the Birds models the souls escape from the minds rational embrace.

Wolp re-creates the intense beauty of the original Persian in contemporary English verse and poetic prose, capturing for the first time the grace and timeless wisdom of Attars complete masterwork for modern readers.

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