Attar (CE 1145–1221) was born in Nishapur, a city in the northeast region of Iran. Considered by Rumi to be “the master” of Sufi mystic poetry, Attar is best known for his epic poem The Conference of the Birds, an allegorical tale about the soul’s search for meaning. “Valley of Knowledge”—translated in this issue by Sholeh Wolpé—is one of the seven valleys the birds must pass in order to reach the court of their king, Simurgh. Wolpé’s full translation of The Conference of the Birds is forthcoming from W. W. Norton & Co in March 2017. 

Georgia Review Archive for Attar

Valley of Knowledge


Enter the Valley of Knowledge,

with its boundless myriad roads

unfurling in every direction.


Here, no path resembles the next.

Here, the traveler of the body is different… read more