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canto (noun) one of the major divisions of a long poem.

Long poems, especially narrative poems, such as epics, are usually divided into a number of sections. One such section is a canto. The division into cantos is for the convenience of reading as well as of narration.

  • If a long poem is not divided into cantos, the narrator as well as the reader finds the poem tedious. Also, as the poem cannot be read in a few sittings, the division into cantos helps us to remember where we have stopped last.
  • Each canto of Dante's Divine Comedy is as interesting as the other, as all of them are filled with Dante's poetic imagination, matched by an equally effective expression.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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