French for “chastity,” the sexual behavior dependent on the moral standards and expectations of a society; typically associated with sexual abstinence. 

Poems with Reference:Edit

"Architecture," line 2: “Let us design a chastel of chastete”

The poem describes the type of poetry that Stevens sets out to write as though the poetry were a medieval structure. Just as the old fortresses (chastels) used to take lifetimes to create, so does poetry that also seeks to last a lifetime. Lensing states, “If Stevens’ fidelity tot he real emanated from his personal predilection and from the immediate environment around him, the troubling issues of that fidelity also fell into mu

ch wider patterns of Western thought” (31). Lensing connects Stevens’s philosophy in the poem “Architecture” to Simone Weil’s concepts about de-creation and the state of reality. Weil explains in her text La Pesenteur et La Grace that “decreation is making [a] pass form the created to nothingness” (qtd in Lensing 31). 


  • Lensing, George S. “The Way of Ignorance.” Wallace Stevens and the Seasons. Baton Rouge: Louisiana UP, 2001. 20-48.
  • The Dao of Wallace Stevens