Poetry Event

Carpe Diem
By: Patricia Anne Pinson
The horizon beyond me is vast,
And possibilities are infinite.
There are chasms, cracks, and cliffs up ahead.
But I am ready
To sieze the day.


To my left,
Are the people who were with me from the start –
They are walking, slowly, closer to me.
The smiles on their faces tell me,
They’re here to help me on my journey.
On my right,
Are the friends I have made along the way.
They hold banners with my name,
And shout words of encouragement.
They believe in me.


Behind me,
Are all of the mistakes I have made on the way.
While I would rather not remember them,
I have learned something from each one of them.
And I will not look nor turn back.


Ahead of me,
Is darkness, pitch black.
The uncertainty of the future is intimidating,
But I know what my ultimate goal is.
I am ready for the journey.


My legs begin to move,
And my feet pound against the ground.
Despite the obstacles that arise,
And the amount of times I get knocked down,
I still press onward.


I am beaten, bruised, and bloodied.
And I’ve lost some companions along the way.
They were not ready to face this.
But I know that I am.
So I press onward.


My feet ache, my legs burn,
My chest heaves up and down.
As I trek onwards, the difficulties get greater and greater,
But I refuse to give in; I refuse to back down from this.
I will come out of this stronger than I ever was before.


And as I feel like I’m ready to collapse,
I can see a faint, shimmering light in the distance.
My fatigue washes away as I take off, running,
And reach for that beacon of Hope.
I have finally made it.


I look to my left and right,
And I see that some of my friends have left me.
But most of them are still here.
They were the ones who held true to my values.
“Carpe diem.”
©Copyright USA Memory Championship and Patricia Pinson 2016


Mental Athletes will have 15 minutes to memorize a previously unpublished poem.

Once the memorization period is over, the Mental Athletes will have 20 minutes for recall. Competitors MUST recall the poem from the beginning by writing it down exactly as it was written (the title and author also score). Mental Athletes must also make it clear where one line ends and other line starts as well as indicate where lines were omitted from their recall. A maximum of 2 consecutive omitted lines is allowed.

Points are awarded for correctly recalling:

  • every correctly spelled word
  • every incidence of a capital letter
  • each punctuation mark (to include italics, underlining)

Each line has a different number of points available. Zero mistakes in the line scores all of the points. One or more mistakes in the line scores 0 points. The last line is scored a bit differently from the rest. A partially completed final line of the answer scores the marks for the portion remembered if the line is correct as far as it goes.

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