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The Power of Love


In Week 10, we read The Conference of the Birds written by Farid Attar, a Persian poet. This text was written to describe the many stories of various Sufis who suffered for their beliefs. In the text, he compares these experiences with different types of birds. For example, the nightingale cannot leave his lover, and the hawk is very much satisfied with his position in court. I decided to do my particular project on the nightingale. I drew a nightingale, perched on a branch, yearning for the “drippings” of the heart; however, the issue is the nightingale does not notice that as he is reaching for the heart, the branch in which he is standing on is beginning to break.”My love is for the rose. I bow to her.” The nightingale’s problem in the text is the fact that he is so absorbed with love. He believes that love is the focus of his life, and without it, he cannot survive. He does not see a reason to go on this excursion because he is satisfied with love. The “love,” in this particular case, is represented by the rose. The hoopoe, or guider for the journey, challenges the nightingale in his belief. The hoopoe states that this very rose that the nightingale is yearning for is only superficial. That very “love” experience that the nightingale believed he was experiencing was being experienced by many others. “Each spring she laughs, not for you, as you say, But at you – and has faded in a day.” One of the best experiences that I had in section was when we chose which of the birds described ourselves. I chose the nightingale because I personally believe that I am influenced by what love can give. At the same time, love is capable of hurting one’s feelings. This is represented in my drawing as the breaking of the branch. It was really nice to be able to read a text that could possibly relate to our own lives.

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