Cees Nooteboom wrote the poems that make up Monk's Eye on two islands: he began them on the Dutch island of Schiermonnikoog
and finished them on the Spanish island of Minorca, where he has spent summers for decades. The poems--which can be read individually
or, all together, as the record of a poet's life--are about the two islands. But they're also about islands as an archetype,
about the serenity that we can find on beaches and amid dunes, the sea sweeping imperturbably around us. Accompanied by Sunandini
Banerjee's collages, the poems in this volume are rich in allusion; they address the past, memories, illusions, dreams, and
the heart of all poetry--which Nooteboom locates in the opening line of Plato's Phaedrus, when Socrates, walking with his
admirer, asks, "My dear Phaedrus, whence came you, and whither are you going?"