This article examines the concept of attention in Gabriele D’Annunzio’s oeuvre, arguing for its central position in the development of his aesthetic thought and of his creative activity. In one of his Faville del maglio (Sparks from the Hammer) entitled ‘Dell’attenzione’ (‘Of attention’, 1911), D’Annunzio referred to attention as his ability to exceptionally stretch his senses in order to perceive every detail of things, people and events surrounding him. This permanent effort enabled him not only to gather a thorough comprehension of reality, but also to reach its ultrasensitive sides and to perceive what is usually hidden to sensory perception. D’Annunzio’s attention can thus be considered as a sort of ‘sixth sense’, an instrument for both investigating the world and translating it into literature through poetic activity. The first part of the article discusses the concept of attention in the Spark, focusing especially on its links with D’Annunzio’s symbolist poetics and on its chiefly practical nature. In the second section I argue that this faculty was exercised by D’Annunzio through a specific physical tool, i.e. his notebooks, which can be considered as the concrete embodiment of this extraordinary sense.