Shakespeare was an avid reader of poetry, plays, and other literary genres, but he was also inspired by practical everyday texts. The “shepherd’s calendar” was a compendium of useful information similar to an almanac, and was an extremely popular genre. Edmund Spenser, one of the most important English poets of the period, fashioned his first major work on the model of a calendar, writing a cycle of twelve poems, one for each month, including the poem for “October” which praises the value of poetry. Robert Farley’s calendar imitated Spenser by tracing a man’s life from spring through winter, providing several entertainingly emblematic images. The format of the books here demonstrates the kinds of poetic and practical books familiar to Shakespeare.