Readers will find that giving very close attention to words and phrases needs to go hand in hand with this context in the poem. There are often several of these which makes things more absorbing / tricky. It is important to recognise that Prynne is working within the poetic tradition. The work takes poetry very seriously and incorporates how words sound as well as how they read on the page.
The reader also needs to ignore the factional strife that divides British poetry. It is possible to enjoy 'mainstream' verse and still be addicted to Prynne, it is also possible to disagree profoundly with Prynne's views on politics (well to the left of centre) and poetry and still enjoy the work.
As with most 'difficult' work, the key here is to pay real attention to the words on the page and, especially with Prynne, the punctuation. You'll need to get used to the idea that there are usually a numbers of ways of reading the same words so you need to be able to tolerate ambiguity. I've just been re-reading the remarably austere Sreak~Willing~Entourage~Artesian and have identified eight different definitions for the word 'pitch' which seem to be relevant in some specific way to the work.
The problem that I have with this quest for 'context' is that it often requires an overall or panoptic idea of what the poem might be saying. With some poems and sequences this is possibly the most challenging task as it requires great concentration and complete familiarity with the words on the page.
Readers who do start to engage with Prynne's work will find themselves thoroughly absorbed by and immersed in the most important work currently being produced. This importance is due to the fact that Prynne is about transforming the way poetry is produced and received. The reaction against him is probably an indication that he has succeeded.
I approach this with some trepidation because I am not yet anywhere near the peak of Mount Prynne but thought a few words may encourage others to undertake the climb.
The first thing you will need is regular access to the OED. It isn't so much that the poems are packed with hard and difficult meanings but Prynne likes to use secondary definitions that you may not be aware of.
Increasingly reliable, Wikipedia is your friend because it often gives a useful overview of terms or concepts that may be new to you and frequently gives links to more in-depth information. Google doesn't always point to the best resources, it's as well to use the 'exact phrase' feature in the advanced search option.
Know that early on you will decide either that the poems are just a bunch of words which you don't have either the time or the inclination to 'engage' or you will be intrigued and want to go further. Both decisions are entirely valid.
Start with the second of the Bloodaxe editions. A lot of people start with the earlier stuff in the hope of following a chronological progression. This is a mistake. Beginning with the poems that interest you most. Also try to obtain the work published after 2004 which is very varied indeed.
Prynne has no interest in making things easy for his readers. There is no single 'key' to any of the poems after 'White Stones'. The perspective of each poem moves about and there are often multiple things going on in the same line. He's also said that he doesn't see the pursuit of meaning as an essential part of his work.
Learn to think laterally, to consider what language can do rather than what it does. Know that Prynne is deeply distrustful of the western consensus view of reality and the role that language plays in that view. According to him, language is never either innocent or neutral
At first try not to read too much of what others say about Prynne. This is often a case of academics trying to impress other academics with their erudition and doesn't provide any kind of help for us readers. It is best to try and make some progress in terms of your own personal response to the poems first.
Read as much prose by Prynne as you can find. The latest books areGeorge Herbert, Love III and Field Notes which is a closed reading of Wordswoth's The Solitary Reaper The first of this is still available from is available from Barque Press but Field Notes has now sold out. Both of these are incredibly detailed word by word readings and provide invaluable idication of the way that this remarkable poet read and thinks about poetry. An ealier volume in a similar vein is They That Haue Powre to Hurt: A Specimen of Commentary on "Shake-speares Sonnets," 94 which is available on at least one disreputable free book site.
It will soon become clear from the poems that Prynne's politics are based on a marxian / leftist analysis and that he's against most of the things that most of us class warriors are: any form of capitalism; imperialist adventures in far flung places; neoliberal economics and the fraudulence of bourgeois culture. This stuff won't hit you like a sledgehammer but it will crop up from time to time. You may find some of Prynne's comments on the workings of capital markets to be quite quaint.
It is eminently possible to over-read Prynne. I've spent more than a little time reading To Pollen and am almost convinced that it refers to his readers as 'the resilient brotherhood' and asks whether he is the one 'inclined' which I am currently taking to be a reference to Celan's Meridian Address. I see this as extraordinary but am also well aware that I may be barking up the wrong tree. The word 'ultramont' from the opening of the first section I'm taking to be a reference to CERN's particle accelerator because it is the only way that the rest of the sentence can 'work'. Early on, I spent a lot of time worrying about "gross epacts" but have now happily given up.
Prynne likes ambiguity and is careful with his word choice so that nouns could also be verbs and vice versa. He also is prone to Latinity which is about constructing phrases according to Latin rather than English grammar. Great poets have been doing this for centuries- Milton was a major culprit.
You're either up for these kind of skirmishes or you're not. I find that I am and my admiration for Prynne has grown as I have gone further in. If you choose to participate you are likely to find that engagement with this body of work will force you to question not only language but also the way in which you experience the world. You will also begin to find that the vast majority of contemporary poetry is intensely mundane and ordinary. If you write poetry then you may find that your voice will be radically altered, this is a good thing providing it's not just a pale imitation of the man himself.
Somewhere on the web there's Prynne on "Harmony in Architecture" which is a speech given in China a few years ago. It says nothing about architecture but is a scathing attack on China's rush for growth. It doesn't address poetry but it is very witty and completely correct.
Be aware that there will be some days or weeks when the stuff becomes just words. At this point you need to take a break but you will come back for more.