Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme where we randomly select a book from our Goodreads To Be Read list and share it with the world. It’s hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners, so be sure to link back to her site so that we can all see what everyone plans to read!
The Conference of the Birds
by Peter Sís
From Goodreads: Celebrated children’s book author and illustrator Peter Sís creates his first book for adults, a beautiful and uplifting adaptation of the classic twelfth-century Sufi epic poem, The Conference of the Birds. In The Conference of the Birds Caldecott Honor-winning children’s book author and illustrator Peter Sís breathes new life into this foundational Sufi poem, revealing its profound lessons.
Sís’s deeply felt adaptation tells the story of an epic flight of birds in search of the true king, Simorgh. Drawn from all species, the band of birds is led by the hoopoe. He promises that the voyage to the mountain of Kaf, where Simorgh lives, will be perilous and many birds resist, afraid of what they might encounter. Others perish during the passage through the seven valleys: quest, love, understanding, friendship, unity, amazement, and death.
Those that continue reach the mountain to learn that Simorgh the king is, in fact, each of them and all of them. In this lyrical and richly illustrated story of love, faith, and the meaning of it all, Peter Sís shows the pain, and beauty, of the human journey.
I don’t remember exactly where I came across this book. I think there was a review for it in a magazine I was flipping through in a waiting room somewhere, but I simply don’t remember now. But given that the actual poem The Conference of the Birds by Farid ud-Din Attar has been on my TBR for quite a long time, wherever I came across Sís’s illustrated version, it caught my eye and was intriguing enough that I want to find a copy of it. I might have to track one down very soon, since I plan to read a lot of poetry for National Poetry Month coming up in April.