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Still a Brave New World Ahead - Cloning, Eugenics Not Dead

Is government control of humans’ birth, aging, and dying
In century 26, as practiced by a new World State;
Different from 20th century’s use of eugenics,
Which used “fitness” to determine people’s reproductive fate?

A high-tech London, where humans’ material needs are met,
Setting of Aldous Huxley’s, Brave New World, utopian tale;
Sterile world of human cloning and conditioning to castes,
Recreational soma drug and sex use on widespread scale.

In respite from his boss’ – the DHC’s – awkward confessions,
Bernard and Lenina fly to the Savage Reservation. 
There they meet Linda and her young adult son, John “the Savage”,
Fathered by DHC 20 years before, on vacation.

Bernard publicly presents Linda and John to DHC,
Bringing Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning [DHC] down.
DHC flees from “sin” of involvement in natural birth.
Bernard and new celebrity, John “the Savage”, gain renown.

Finally, John rejects the soma, sex, and clones of London,
Spurns Lenina’s moves and keeps soma from “lower” Delta caste.
His retreat to do penance draws crowds and curiosity;
Leads to suicide by hanging – John’s perceived freedom at last.

This Brave New World’s parallels to eugenics cannot be lost,
Since, in both cases, the state had a hand in who lives and dies.
American Breeder’s Association, “better babies,”
Forced sterilizations – how U.S. eugenics took its guise.

Human cloning now – gene, reproductive, or therapeutic –
Raises a host of ethical, moral, and other issues.
Somatic nuclear transfer to clone human embryos
Evokes Brave New World’s ‘soma’ in copying people’s tissues. 

Eugenics – legal in U.S. until 1970’s;
Its dehumanizing nature gone from society’s norms?
With current human cloning research, genetic ‘shopping’, more,
No one’s safe ‘til humankind is respected in all its forms.


Copyright © | Year Posted 2017

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Date: 10/10/2018 8:10:00 AM
Congrats on your win, Bartholomew.
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Bartholomew Williams
Date: 10/10/2018 7:39:00 PM
Thank you very much, Line. I sincerely appreciate it. All my best to you! :) Bartholomew
Date: 10/9/2018 2:51:00 PM
This is a complex issue, and your poem is very layered and compelling, thanks for entering it in my contest!
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Bartholomew Williams
Date: 10/9/2018 3:26:00 PM
Michelle, thank you very much for your kind words and for giving this overlooked poem a little love, sweet love! I sincerely appreciate it. I am also grateful for your sponsorship of this contest. All my very best to you and yours! :) Bartholomew
Date: 5/25/2017 10:27:00 PM
gosh I know so little about all this!! I don't really know this story about John "the savage" etc. but it feels to me like you are very well informed on this topic. Thanks for seeing my poetry today and it was good to see one of your writes!(there is a tv mystery/drama about a girl with many clones. I can't remember the name of it but it's SO good) Black orphan or something like that.
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Bartholomew Williams
Date: 5/26/2017 8:18:00 AM
Thank you very much, Andrea! I always appreciate your consistently positive, supportive comments. I enjoy reading your poetry. Thank you for the tip on the TV show. I'll have to look into that (Google makes everything easier). Have a great Memorial Day weekend, and see you around Soup! :)