Recording of the French Poem “Voyelles” d’Arthur Rimbaud

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Slower and natural readings of the French poem “Voyelles” d’Arthur Rimbaud – listen to my clear French audio recording and read the English translation of the poem.

Today, I’m going to read you one of Arthur Rimbaud’s most famous poems: Voyelles. It is the first Rimbaldian poem to use association as a writing principle.

Each vowel awakens multiple images, visual, sound and olfactory impressions. Each vowel is illustrated with one or more tables which are hallucinations, illuminations.

1 – Famous French Poem “Voyelles” d’Arthur Rimbaud – Audio Recording

Please press play to hear my readings of the famous French poem “Voyelles” d’Arthur Rimbaud.

1 – Famous French Poem “Voyelles” d’Arthur Rimbaud


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,

[poetry-adblock]Golfes d’ombre ; E, candeur des vapeurs et des tentes,
Lances des glaciers fiers, rois blancs, frissons d’ombelles ;
I, pourpres, sang craché, rire des lèvres 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, suprême Clairon plein des strideurs étranges,
Silence traversés des Mondes et des Anges :
O l’Oméga, rayon violet de Ses Yeux ! –

Rimbaud’s most famous poem “Le Dormeur du Val” is explained and analysed in my audiobook Easy French Poetry.

Easy French Poetry

Most famous and classic French poems read and analysed in everyday French.

(29 Reviews)

More Details & Audio Samples

2 – English Translation of the classical French poem – “Voyelles” d’Arthur Rimbaud

Here is my own translation of the French poem. I went for a literal translation so you could understand the vocabulary.


A black, E white, I red, U green, O blue: vowels
Someday I’ll talk about your secret birth-cries,
A, black furry corset of brilliant flies
That buzz around cruel stenches,

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

U, waves, divine shudders of viridian seas,
Peace of pastures dotted with animals, peace of furrows
Which alchemy prints on broad studious foreheads;

O, sublime Trumpet full of strange stridencies,
Silences crossed by Worlds and by Angels:
O the Omega, violet ray of Her Eyes!

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 23+ years in the US and France. Based on my students' goals and needs, I've created unique downloadable French audiobooks focussing on French like it's spoken today, for all levels. Most of my audiobooks are recorded at several speeds to help you conquer the modern French language. Good luck with your studies and remember, repetition is the key!

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