The following poem by Edwin Muir (1887-1959) has its origin in an incident that took place in post-World War II Czechoslovakia. At the time, Muir was serving as the director of the British Council in Prague. In much of his poetry, Muir portrayed life as having an underlying mythic timelessness about it. Thus, this poem seems to suggest more than a simple encounter with border guards.
We could have crossed the road but hesitated,
And then came the patrol;
The leader conscientious and intent,
The men surly, indifferent.
While we stood by and waited
The interrogation began. He says the whole
Must come out now, who, what we are,
Where we have come from, with what purpose, whose
Country or camp we plot for or betray.
Question on question.
We have stood and answered through the standing day
And watched across the road beyond the hedge
The careless lovers in pairs go by,
Hand linked in hand, wandering another star,
So near we could shout to them. We cannot choose
Answer or action here,
Though still the careless lovers saunter by
And the thoughtless field is near.
We are on the very edge,
Endurance almost done,
And still the interrogation is going on.
Edwin Muir, The Labyrinth (1949).