A discourse between a bird and the Hoopoe – ‘The Conference of the Birds’ by Attar (CC)


The following discourse is taken from the
Persian poem “The Conference of the Birds” by Attar. Music: Burak Malçok – Lavanta İlahisi A BIRD WHO BURNS WITH ASPIRATION ‘O hoopoe,’ cried another of the birds,
‘What lofty ardour blazes from your words! Although I seem despondent, weak and lame,
I burn with aspiration’s noble flame — And though I’m not obedient I feel
My soul devoured by an insatiate zeal.’ THE HOOPOE ANSWERS HIM The hoopoe said: ‘This strange, magnetic force
That holds God’s ancient lovers to their course Still shows the Truth: if you will but aspire
You will attain to all that you desire. Before an atom of such need the sun
Seems dim and murky by comparison — It is life’s strength, the wings by which we fly
Beyond the further reaches of the sky. Farid ud-din Attar, “The Conference of the Birds”
Translated by Afkham Darbandi and Dick Davis. Revised edition: Penguin Classics, London, England 2011. p.144 Picture: “Bee-eater” – 19th century Mughal dynasty.

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