Award-winning translator Sholeh Wolpé recaptures the beauty and lyricism of one of Persian literature’s most celebrated masterpieces.
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 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 their king, the mysterious Simorgh. 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, The Conference of the Birds models the soul’s escape from the mind’s rational embrace.
Wolpé 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 Attar’s complete masterwork for modern readers.