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Whole-genome sequencing of newborn babies
              presents ethical quandaries.
                                The Economist, May 2022

You’re going to have a baby.
You’ve wanted one since
the pair of you fell in love
with your custom reconstruction
of an epic narrative:
Odysseus drags himself, bloodied, from the surf.
Athena, gray-eyed, wraps him in an unguent fog
and gifts him to a curious Penelope.
Aren’t new lovers the heroes of their tales?

Next, your lineage, your Telemachus,
arrives, sprung from
the lime-colored grass of a spring afternoon.
But did you consult the prophets first?

Some 7,000 rare diseases lie in wait,
a Trojan army out beyond the plain.
All genetic. All in battle garb,
dark eyes restless
through their helmet slits.
One is all it takes.

Pay enough, and
the seers tell you everything.
The new Cassandra predicts entirely
the issue of your loins.
An office consultation looms
in which you hope
she won’t need to keen
in a bloodshot voice.

Now, no one can dismiss such a figure,
so robed in utter potency.

The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics—we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere civility. Will you help us remain a refreshing oasis in the increasingly contentious arena of modern discourse? Please consider donating now.

We hope you will join us in The Imaginative Conservative The Imaginative Conservative is an on-line journal for those who seek the True, the Good and the Beautiful. We address culture, liberal learning, politics, political economy, literature, the arts and the American Republic in the tradition of Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, Edmund Burke, Irving Babbitt, Wilhelm Roepke, Robert Nisbet, Richard Weaver, M.E. Bradford, Eric Voegelin, Christopher Dawson, Paul Elmer More and other leaders of Imaginative Conservatism. Some conservatives may look at the state of Western culture and the American Republic and see a huge dark cloud which seems ready to unleash a storm that may well wash away what we most treasure of our inherited ways. Others focus on the silver lining which may be found in the next generation of traditional conservatives who have been inspired by Dr. Kirk and his like. We hope that The Imaginative Conservative answers T.S. Eliot’s call to “redeem the time, redeem the dream.” The Imaginative Conservative offers to our families, our communities, and the Republic, a conservatism of hope, grace, charity, gratitude and prayer.

The featured image is “Cassandra” (1850–1934) by John Maler Collier, and is in the public domain, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.