What is the setting of "The Seekers of Lice"? Who is the speaker and audience?

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"The Seekers of Lice" is a poem about a boy who has a peculiar, unsettling dream. In the dream, "two tall charming sisters" approach the boy in his bed and take him to the open window. There, where "the blue air bathes a mass of flowers," the two sisters move their "delicate, fearful and enticing fingers" through his hair. Thus, as regards the setting, the story takes place in the child's dream, and the dream is set in the child's bedroom. Even more specifically, the setting for most of the poem is at the window of the boy's bedroom. The air at the window is described as "blue," implying that it is very cold. The inference, given that the boy is in bed dreaming, is that the story takes place in the early hours of the morning.

The speaker is a third-person objective narrator, who describes the events of the poem from the perspective of a disinterested observer. Accordingly, the tone of the poem is neutral, descriptive, and matter-of-fact. The speaker is also omniscient, which becomes obvious in the third to fifth stanzas of the poem, where the speaker describes what the boy hears and feels. The speaker tells us that the boy "listens to the singing" of the two sisters and feels "Surging in him and dying continuously a desire to cry."

The poem was written by Arthur Rimbaud, a French poet who lived during the second half of the nineteenth century, and was first published in 1891. The intended audience of the poem, therefore, was anybody who read poetry at this time.

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