In the first stanza, the narrator focuses on the voice. Interestingly, we can compare the narrator’s situation to the author’s. Ra’hel’s uses her voice as a medium to express her emotion, even though her narrator is unable to, or afraid to, use her own voice. In the second line, we see the wife calls to her husband, “וקולה כתדיר,” implying a regular, calm voice that she uses frequently—it is natural for the wife to use her voice to address her husband and expect a response. On the other hand, the narrator says that, “בקולי לא אבטח/פן יסגיר.” She states that she does not trust her own voice, because it can “יסגיר”, which is an interesting word. It usually refers to prisoners, extraditing them. The narrator is a prisoner of her voice and her emotions; she is unable to express herself because her voice would reveal her love for the husband.
In the second stanza, we see the wife with the husband, exposed to the world without consequence. They are, “קבל עם, קבל אור.” For the narrator, they seem to be in front of the whole world and in the light, which then contrasts to the “בחשכת ערבים” that the narrator finds herself. In the last two lines of the stanza, there is no verb present. Like a prisoner, the narrator is in the dark (like a cell) and has no say over her situation. In addition, she is “במסתור”—a hiding place, or refuge, just like a prisoner.
I found the third stanza most striking, as it was very beautifully visual and relates nicely to the idea of the unrequited love as a device of imprisonment. In the third stanza, both women are bound to the man. Yet, the wife’s object of binding, her gold ring, is worn in “שלוה.” It is accompanied by peacefulness and security. The narrator’s object of binding is much more sinister as chains, again, like a prisoner. These are iron chains, seven times more strong than the ring. In order words, the chains bind the narrator to the man more than the ring could ever bind the wife to the husband.
The stylistic and form of the poem is also demonstrative of the imprisonment of the narrator. The rhythmic pattern is obvious in the second and third lines of each stanza of the poem. Like the narrator, the rhyme is entangled between the two other lines. Although it is not always proper to connect the narrator to the author, it really does seem like Ra’hel is reflecting on a part of her own life and her feeling of a prisoner and someone who is stuck facing an unrequited love.