To prove used to mean to undergo or learn by experience, then to test, as in “the exception that proves the rule.” Prove/proof didn’t always have such an aura of certainty. Even today, we talk about proofing yeast or a manuscript.
The rest of Simic’s poem, by the way, concerns trees and secrets. We learn that obvious things are quiet because they are mute. Unlike trees, they are diurnal and have no stories.
Earlier this evening, Rachel finally got around to asking me what my politics were. It proved surprisingly difficult to answer. I believe in a politics of kindness, I said after a lot of blather. I admire certain anarchist, pacifist and ecological thinkers, but I revel in inconsistency. My own feet remain a terra incognita — forget about the ground!