Based on the masterful twelfth-century Sufi poem “The Conference of the Birds,” this enchanting poem is accompanied by original illustrations painted on ceramic tiles, typical of the medieval Persian style.
It was one night while soaring in the Chinese sky,
I heard people talk of a great bird that flew by,
Called Simurgh, the greatest bird alive,
Who dwells on Mount Qaf, where he is said to thrive,
Upon a giant mountain unlike any other seen, covered with trees,
Beyond Samarkand, across seven valleys and seven seas.
Hooda Shawa Qaddumi teaches English as a Second Language at Kuwait University.
Vanessa Hodgkinson is the Levy-Plumb Artist in Residence at Christ’s College, Cambridge.