There are not enough lips to pronounce
your transient names, O water.

I would have to say them in every language
pronouncing all the vowels at once,

at the same time keeping silent—for the sake of a lake
that waited in vain for a name,

and is no longer on earth—as it is in the heavens,
whose stars are no longer reflected in it.

Wisława Szymborska, “Water”, originally published in Sól (Salt), 1962 | Virginia Quarterly Review