An Ancient Quest

The prompt at We Write Poems today introduced me to an epic Persian poem by Farid ud Din Attar :  The Conference of the Birds, and asked us to give our own version. Having read and been moved by the original, my own version can only be a poor pastiche.  Better far for you to read the real thing, all 4000 odd lines of iambic pentameter.

image of a modern version of the poem from

A thousand birds set out to find their King.
A hoopoe guides them,  keeps them on the path.
Some birds are frightened, fly away. Others falter by the way.
A mere thirty remain to journey to the end.

Stories are told imparting powerful wisdom,
Mysteries unfold, inspiring awe yet comforting
their fearful souls until a mirrored miracle
reveals the purpose of their adventuring,
shows them how in love they are united,
transformed into the ultimate Creator.
Enfin we morph into they and they become He.


All poetry, prose and pictures posted here, except where otherwise stated, is my own, and may only be used elsewhere with my expressed permission. Please don't be inhibited from correcting my bloopers and making suggestions: Most of what I post here is instant, ill-considered and off-the-cuff, in serious need of editing.
This entry was posted in formal poetry, story poems and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to An Ancient Quest

  1. And we aren’t really separated from the Absolute, are we? We just think that we are. So the last two lines of your poem elegantly and beautifully tell us.

    The birds figured it out, but will we?



  2. I love how your first portion lays out the ways in which they go and your second reveals the truths unveiled…succinct and well worded, Viv. 🙂


  3. The Editors of Garden Variety says:

    Exceptionally beautiful!


  4. Misky says:

    Quite splendid.


  5. Your poem does make me curious about the book. Is it hard to read? I am a bear of small brain.


  6. Inspiring. I wonder what happened to the 970?


  7. 1sojournal says:

    Okay, you have caught my attention. Will go looking for the book because I love myths, especially animal myths. Iambic Pentameter you say? Better to read than to write it, lol. Thanks Viv,



  8. cecilia says:

    Yours is lovely and thank goodness it is somewhat shorter, though i have a distant memory of coming across this book before.. hmm.. I might see if amazon has a copy.. c


  9. Irene says:

    A charming journey in verse, Viv.


  10. julespaige says:

    Looks like a very interesting book. That out of 1000 only thirty were left.
    We all transform… Lovely verse. – Just enough for me.
    But I will keep my eyes open for a copy, now.


I love it when you leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s