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.