For some years now, the haiku industry has been promoting February as a month for writing haiku, as if haiku would wither and die if we did not spend twenty-eight or even twenty-nine days reminding the world of its existence.

Haiku is in no such danger. Haiku is what poetry conservationists call a species of least concern. When the great extinction event comes, the last few dozen remaining humans will record how they feel about it in haiku form, because it is the one species of poetry every human being learned to compose in the fifth grade. Haiku is the great equalizer: it makes poets of the most egregious yokels, and it makes yokels of the most outstanding poets.

Since the rest of the world will be haikuing itself into a stupor, Dr. Boli thought we might throw a little counter-party of our own. We can adopt the same goal as the haikuists: one poem a day for every day of February. But we shall add one rule: the form of the poem can be anything but haiku.

Would you like to write a sonnet? Go ahead. A ballad? A limerick? An epic? As final arbiter of the rules of the event, Dr. Boli will permit a certain number of lines toward an ultimate epic to count as the day’s poem. (But try to do better than poor old Virgil, who notoriously composed the Aeneid at an average rate of two lines per diem.) Even free verse will be permitted, if you will give Dr. Boli your word of honor that you are thinking about sound and rhythm and not just hacking prose into lines.

So get ready for International Anything-But-Haiku Month. You have ten days to prepare, which should be enough to fill your inkwell, sharpen your pencil, or drop a new ribbon in your Woodstock.