Poets develop a sharp eye to observe, a sharp ear to hear--the sights and sounds of everyday reality, the texture of the quotidian, to find "infinity in a grain of sand, eternity in an hour" (William Blake). That is, they recognize that the ordinary dramas of everyday reality are not ordinary at all, but unique, unrepeatable moments charged with implication and significance, which can be captured and revealed in language.

Today, make a point of noting your surroundings just a bit more carefully than is customary. Watch the slush spray up from the wheel of a passing bus, the hot dog vendor threading her cart down the crowded sidewalk, the pedestrians bundled and wary, a sparrow singing on a leafless tree. Whatever you see or hear today, take special note, pause at least three times to write it down in a few sentences or phrases, as a "fabulous reality."

Then write your poem. Use one fabulous reality as the basis for the entire poem, or try combining and juxtaposing a few together in a single poem. Notice how Denise Levertov captures and connects fabulous realities in "The Metier of Blossoming," as does Elizabeth Bishop in "At the Fishhouses."

Your final poem, after revisions, should be 14 lines long, or fewer.