The Conference of the Birds or Speech of the Birds is a long poem of approximately 4500 lines written in Persian by the poet Farid ud-Din Attar, who is commonly known as Attar of Nishapur. In the poem, the birds of the world gather to decide who is to be their king, as they have none. The hoopoe, the wisest of them all, suggests that they should find the legendary Simorgh, a mythical Persian bird roughly equivalent to the western phoenix. The hoopoe leads the birds, each of whom represent a human fault which prevents man from attaining enlightenment. However during the journey One by one, drop out of the journey, each offering an excuse and unable to endure the journey. Each bird has a special significance, and a corresponding didactic fault. In the end only the group of thirty birds finally reaches the dwelling place of the Simorgh, all they find is a lake in which they see their own reflection. (The story relies on a clever word play between the words Simorgh and "si morgh" – meaning "thirty birds" in Persian.) As the birds realize the truth, they now reach the station of Baqa (Subsistence) which sits atop the Mountain Qaf. The birds must cross seven valleys in order to find the Simorgh: Talab (Yearning), Ishq (Love), Ma'rifat (Gnosis), Istighnah (Detachment), Tawheed (Unity of God), Hayrat (Bewilderment) and, finally, Fuqur and Fana (Selflessness and Oblivion in God). These represent the stations that any individual must pass through to realize the true nature of God.