Literary Reflections

Discussion points for The Conference of the Birds

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About This Resource

Leila Golestenah Austin suggests questions and topics to encourage and guide group discussions.

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Conference of the Birds

How does the hoopoe become leader of the birds? Is he a competent leader?

How do you interpret the excuses the birds come up with for avoiding the perilous journey to find the Simorgh?

Which of the hoopoe's stories do you most identify with, and which least? Why?

The two Sufi themes that run through this poem are the necessity of destroying the Self and the need for passionate love.  How do the stories depict the ideal of love? Why might some of the stories be considered scandalous?

Do you think that a journey with such inherent dangers is worth it?  Explain your answer based on what the survivors gained from the journey.

How to Cite This Page

"Muslim Journeys | Item #284: Discussion points for The Conference of the Birds", April 20, 2018 http://bridgingcultures.neh.gov/muslimjourneys/items/show/284.

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