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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The Conference of the Birds (Penguin Classics)
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on March 9, 2015
Ask a well-educated Iranian for advice on reading the Persian classics and high on his/her list will likely be "The Conference of the Birds," a medieval poetic allegory written by Farid ud-Din Attar. Attar began his professional life as a well-educated pharmacist, and, after some years of listening to the cares and concerns of his patients, devoted himself instead to travel and the study of philosophy. These travels, which extended throughout the Middle East, Turkistan, and India, left him most profoundly impressed by the Sufi approach to Islam and culminated in the writing of "The Conference of the Birds." This lengthy verse poem tells of the search of the world's birds for a magical leader, symbolizing the quest of the human soul for unity with the Supreme Being.

Precisely who among the Sufi philosophers and authors of his age most influenced Attar is not well documented, but there is no doubt of the the impact he in turn would have on the work of Rumi and Hafez, the Sufi poets today best known in the West. To further round out your appreciation of the impact that Attar's classic has had over the centuries, treat yourself to the recently published "The Canticle of the Birds: Illustrated Through Persian and Eastern Islamic Art." In this expensive but exquisitely illustrated volume, Dr. Michael Barry of Princeton University has brought to bear his deep knowledge of Persian, Central Asian, and Indian art and thought.
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on December 9, 2015
Attar's Conference of the Birds is indeed a classic, and this translation is among the best available in English. Highly recommended for seekers of the heart.
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on December 3, 2010
Farid ud-Din Attar, also known as Attar of Nishapur, a Persian poet, was born in Nishapur, Iran in 1145. In his early career as a pharmacist, he helped many people in his home town. Later he abandoned his pharmacy and traveling to different countries became his intense interest. After meeting some Sufi leaders in India, he started promoting Sufi ideas as he returned to Nishapur. Attar's master piece, "The Conference of the Birds", is a poetic moral story of a flock of birds in the journey of seeking truth, the God. With aimless life style, birds around the world gather in a garden try to find out if there is a meaning in life and if there is a God. An intelligent bird, called hoopoe, led these birds and started their long journey of searching for truth, the meaning of existence. By using riddles and answers, hoopoe advised and encouraged all birds to be brave, grateful and to be truthful. Life is not an easy game and we all live to be reborn and we are born to learn how to live a fulfilling life.

Translated by Afkham Darbandi(Davis's wife) and Dr. Dick Davis, this exceptional book catches man's heart for almost one thousand years. If you like Rumi and Hafez, you will enjoy this book much more profoundly. As a poem, it is exquisite and spectacular; as an epic allegory of seeking God, it is majestic and noble; as a spiritual guidance, this book leads you to your intellectual self. I read this book many years ago and at that time I was mainly focusing on the spiritual part of the book. After becoming a serious birder, revisit of this book brought me to a higher level of realization. I consider myself a fast reader. However, this is not a book you will want to read without a thought or many thoughts. You need to read this book like tasting a good wine and, you will swallow its essence only when you understand life should be embraced with love not hate, with peace not war.

Happy birding and happy reading!
WingsSpirit.com
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on July 18, 2017
A book written in such a manner that its meanings instinctively flowed within my heart. Its message encouraging us to reflect within ourselves.
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on July 14, 2017
For someone who likes learning about old classical Persian poetry, it is an invaluable book.
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on August 6, 2016
Exceptional care taken to be true to the original meaning of the poems. Great introduction and careful care taken in it preparation.
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on October 5, 2016
I read this book in Sindhi translation some twenty years ago and even in my teen age I could feel great peace in the journey of soul and I say it certainly is a great book who wish to know the theme of Sufism. The author, Farid u din 'Attar', is a great Sufi and Iranian philosopher of all times who has written over a hundred books and many of these relate to Sufism. Attar gifted one of his books 'Elahinameh' to Rumi when Rumi's family was migrating from Blukh to Benzantine (present Turkey) to escape Mongol invasion.
The book is authentic simplified source to understand central idea of Sufism and stages in the journey of soul. The book came without any defects in a water proof envelope 5 Stars definitely.
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on May 17, 2014
There's not much I can say about the book that hasn't already been said. The book is amazing. I highly recommend it.
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on January 18, 2013
Dear İnvolved,

This books arrived to me.
Adventures of Simorg and son amies...

This books said that is very magical stories in ancien and tales periods.

İf you buy this books you will read always.

Thank you so much..
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on August 11, 2015
I had been looking for this book for years. Amazon smile does a good job.
One person found this helpful
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