This post is edited from the preface to the book…
How auspicious! As publishers, it is our wish is to spread works that create inspiration and realization in the minds of readers, and this translation of Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus by Nancy Billias is a beautiful example of the transformative power of the written word.
To date, Dream Abbey has primarily published commentaries and text translations of the Tibetan Yungdrung Bon tradition while simultaneously remaining a publisher for poets, philosophers, and visionaries to share their revelatory perspectives.
In his Sonnets, Rilke gives us Orpheus as a symbol of the poet’s (or practitioner’s) ability for self-transcendence. The creative activity of the poet brings both writer and reader to an inner experience of awareness.
Like any visionary poetry, insightful philosophy, or divine teachings, the Sonnets reveal Rilke’s spirit – his will to rise above the suffering of the cyclic world and reach a state of liberation, harmony, and equilibrium.
In addition to her insightful translation, Nancy Billias’ introduction to the poems profoundly guides the reader to a potent form of poetic meditation. Her nine steps of listening and translation offer the reader a method of entering and becoming absorbed within the text in a way that deeply resembles a spiritual experience.
We are deeply grateful to Nancy for sharing her inspiring translations of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Sonnets and allowing us to help share them with the world.