One of the caliphs of Egypt, al-‘Az?z ibn al-Mu‘izz al-‘Ubayd?, used to race doves.
One day he competed against one of his servants, and the servant’s bird flew faster than his own.
So the caliph summoned his minister, Ibn Kalas al-Yah?d?, to inquire about this.
The minister was too embarrassed to say that the caliph’s bird had been beaten, so he wrote a poem instead:
You, to whom obedience is rewarded with security
And for whom the love of his subjects is a necessity:
Your bird was the victor, however
He arrived with his chamberlain preceding him.
What would it be like
to live in a library
of melted books?
With sentences streaming over the floor
and all the punctuation
settled to the bottom as residue.