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Parliament of Birds (Coloquio de los pájaros)

Fishburn and Hughes: A famous poem, Mantiq ut-Tair, by the Persian Farid Edin Attar, an allegory representing the slow and arduous journey of the Sufi mystic's soul towards its source and final destination: unification with and annihilation in God. The seven valleys, or seas, to be traversed in search of the Simurgh, or God, are those of love, knowledge, detachment, unification, bewilderment and, finally, annihilation. The poem, consisting of 40,000 couplets, contains a number of independent stories, each reflecting the main allegory. Burton refers to this influential poem in his Terminal Essay' as an example of Persian poetic imagination which made the spheres of art and fancy as real as the world of nature and fact. He talks of Sufism as 'a creed the most poetical and impractical, the most spiritual and the most transcendental ever invented', a point he illustrates by his own poetical resume of the poem. The Approach to Al-Mu’tasim