This is a collection of 34 poems read by LibriVox volunteers for July 2017.
It includes a longer poem, Parliament of the Birds by Farid ud-Din Attar.
Introduction by the reader: This is one of the best-loved classics of Sufi literature. In his own land, Attar is better known than Rumi or Hafiz. Translation is by Edward Fitzgerald, who 160 years ago brought the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayam to English-speaking audiences.
Lacking governance and beginning to descend into anarchy, the birds come together to agree on leadership. The brilliant and charismatic Tajidar the Wise rises to speak, and proposes that the birds undertake a long and treacherous pilgrimage to seek salvation and transfiguration from Simorgh, the Holy Presence. Each of the birds presents his special reasons for declining the trip, which Tajidar rebuts with a relevant moral tale. The trip will be arduous, and will require each bird to leave behind not just his possessions but his family, his pride, his attachments. But the reward–if Simorgh’s grace be granted–will be freedom and knowledge of self and the world. All the birds set out and the vast majority perish along the way. For the thirty that reach their appointment with destiny, there is a surprise in store. Hint: “Simorgh” in Persian can be read to mean “30 birds”.
This title is avalable for free download at: www.librivox.org.