Where do rainbows come from? William Wordsworth, an English poet who published his first sonnet in 1787, wrote: My heart leaps up when I behold A rainbow in the sky . . . Something about seeing a rainbow gives us a shivery feeling. The bands of color, dipping down from the sky, are so beautiful and rare. People once thought rainbows were signs from the gods. It’s not surprising. A rainbow appears in the sky, seemingly out of nowhere. Then, just as mysteriously, it vanishes.