Poems of Meng Jiao
The Fulling Block
Cuckoo's cries don't make me sad.
Wails of lonely apes don't move me.
Beneath the moon, a fuller pounds
And each blow breaks my heart.
The pestle's sound, I long have known.
It makes me want to explain myself.
The pounding doesn't call cloth to mind.
It's like a command to call me home.
A fulling block is used to make cloth denser and stronger. That someone is pounding it at night suggests that it is summer when pounding in the heat would be exhausting. So somewhere to the south. Which makes this poem out of place in the scrolls. Because in the scrolls we are busy taking and failing imperial exams. And that's all we know.