The Lost Generation : World War I Poetry : Edna St. Vincent Millay

Cover of Millay's There are no islands any more


At 10 pages long, Edna St. Vincent Millay’s There Are No Islands, Any More is a book containing only one poem. Written on the cusp of World War II, “in Passion and in Deep Concern for England, France and My Own Country,” the poem chides the isolationist stance still prevalent among many Americans amidst the growing threat of Fascism and Nazism. Millay’s patriotism and support of the war contrasts her previous role as a pacifist in World War I, and is epitomized by the book’s copyright page, which bears a statement by Millay: “This poem, written by me in the cause of democracy, has been printed and distributed with my permission, free of royalty to me or profit to my publishers. All proceeds from the sale of this book will be turned over to an established war relief agency.”

Published by Harper & Brothers Publishers (now HarperCollins) and printed and bound by the Haddon Craftsmen in Camden, New Jersey, UNT’s copy is a first edition. Publication and printing information is displayed between two small stars on the last page of the book, along with a statement regarding the typeface (Bulmer), and that it was set by hand at the Golden Hind Press in Madison, New Jersey. The detail-oriented, artisanal quality of the book’s printing is antithetical to the centralized, mass-produced style of printing that had become popular with the invention of the Linotype machine in the late 1800s. Millay’s decision to have the book produced in this way without earning any profit of her own reinforces her dedication to the prevention of Fascism.

Find "There Are No Islands, Any More" in the UNT Library Catalog.