I prove a theorem and the house expands;
the windows jerk free to hover near the ceiling,
the ceiling floats away with a sigh.
As the walls clear themselves of everything
but transparency, the scent of carnations
leaves with them. I am out in the open
and above the windows have hinged into butterflies,
sunlight glinting where they've intersected.
They are going to some point true and unproven.
Rita Dove 1980
I take my friend Mark's point; this poem does deal specifically with the instant revelation of
More than a poem about strictly mathematic revelation, this poem is an incredible illustration of any kind of expansion of knowledge. Expansion by itself is a thin term, but say expansion with an exhale, sigh it and open your eyes; this kind of revelation is what Dove is talking about.