Was Rimbaud right?

What colors are the vowels?

Click on the vowel to pick its color or write down the HEX value.

Take a look at the last uploaded colors choices.

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Median color value of each letter calculated on 610 entries

 #000000 #000000 #000000 #000000 #000000

Let's explain

Playing with Arthur Rimbaud's Vowels

In 1872 Arthur Rimbaud wrote a poem called "Vowels" ("Voyelles" in French).

In this poem he stated that each vowel has a specific color: "A black, E white, I red, U green, O blue: vowels,"

When I first read the poem, I thought Rimbaud was wrong: these were not the colors of my vowels!
So this is the main reason why I developed this little website.

Now it is your turn: what colors are your vowels?

Play our little game above and send us your color combination!

Did you have fun? You can follow us on Twitter to get the news on our latest projects or just to say hello!


Vowels, Arthur Rimbaud (1872)

A black, E white, I red, U green, O blue: vowels,
I shall tell, one day, of your mysterious origins:
A, black velvety jacket of brilliant flies
which buzz around cruel smells,

Gulfs of shadow; E, whiteness of vapours and of tents,
lances of proud glaciers, white kings, shivers of cow-parsley;
I, purples, spat blood, smile of beautiful lips
in anger or in the raptures of penitence;

U, waves, divine shudderings of viridian seas,
the peace of pastures dotted with animals, the peace of the furrows
which alchemy prints on broad studious foreheads;

O, sublime Trumpet full of strange piercing sounds,
silences crossed by [Worlds and by Angels]:
–O the Omega! the violet ray of [His] Eyes!


Voyelles, Arthur Rimbaud (1872)

A noir, E blanc, I rouge, U vert, O bleu; voyelles,
Je dirai quelque jour vos naissances latentes:
A, noir corset velu des mouches éclatantes
Qui bombinent autour des puanteurs cruelles,

Golfes d'ombre; E, candeurs des vapeurs et des tentes,
Lances des glaciers fiers, rois blancs, frissons d'ombelles;
I, pourpres, sang crachè, rire des lévres belles
Dans la colère ou les ivresses pénitentes;

U, cycles, vibrements divins des mers virides,
Paix des pâtis semés d'animaux, paix des rides
Que l'alchimie imprime aux grands fronts studieux;

O, supreme Clairion plein des strideurs étranges,
Silences traversés des Mondes et des Anges;
- O l'Oméga, rayon violet de Ses Yeux!


Image Credits

Background image by Cadaverexquisito (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html">GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons