Tuesday, February 28, 2012
One night, moths, who were driven by desire,
Met together to discuss their obsession
To see if it was one and the same. They enquired:
'How can we know?' Truth was their possession,
They thought, and sent forth one of their number to bring
Any information he could to feed their yearning.
He fluttered to and fro between the curtains of night
Till he spied a candle spluttering in a castle tower,
Then he reported back the wonder he saw on his flight.
But one amongst his friends whose knowledge gave him power
Said this messenger understood nothing at all about the candle.
So another moth was sent, he saw and touched the flame
With the tip of his wing, but his report had no handle
On the truth since the heat drove him off, he had no claim.
A third went forth, was so intoxicated with love
He threw himself on the fire and was consumed.
The wise moth seeing how the flame fitted like a glove
The moth's glowing body, said when he resumed
His place amongst his peers: 'That moth now knows
What he can never utter nor any language ever disclose.'
~ Farid ud-Din Attar
from The Conference of the Birds