Quote: "Since John Milton's works allude to so many other texts, Thomas H. Luxon always thought that the library was the only place to read Milton."
Comment: Actually what is really interesting about poetry from this period and earlier is that poets expected to annotate and change each other's poetry, sometimes on the same piece of paper, as well as write poetic responses to each other, again sometimes on the same piece of paper, perhaps as extra verses. Consequently many poems exist in multiple versions, and also form a kind of conversation. Tracking a conversation between poets via their poetry is fascinating, but attribution and dating are very difficult. The other interesting thing is that poems were often political commentary, so for example, the poem about the Buzzing of the Bees sometimes attributed to Robert, the Earl of Essex is "really" about courtiers in the court of Queen Elizabeth, and his being out of favor there.
See also PoetryAndWiki.