This is an attempt at outlining the philosophical and literary framework of Leopold Staff’s The Island. Rarely analyzed, the poem, made distinct by its universalist tone, does invite a fresh reading, especially one going beyond the narrow contexts and procedures of literary history. This approach is premised on the potential co-existence of the differentiae specificae of Staff’s poetic philosophy and the phenomena that are determined by it even though validated by a different discursive principle. Crucial to this analysis are two philosophical categories, mythical teleovitalism (a term coined by Jerzy Kwiatkowski and suited like no other to capture the specific quality of Staff’s poetry,) and a utopian aphasia (ie. a critical distance towards all utopias undercut by a longing for some form of utopian projection - an attitude that can be found across a wide range of classicist poetics). It is argued that these two categories have a key role in organizing the structure of the poem which deals with the submerged tensions between an appreciative and an unapproving view of a dream about ‘a mystery island’.