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For other uses, see Canto (disambiguation).

The canto is a principal form of division in a long poem, especially the epic. The word comes from Italian, meaning "song" or singing.

Famous poems that employ the canto division are Luís de Camões' Os Lusíadas (10 cantos), Lord Byron's Don Juan (17 cantos, the last of which unfinished), Valmiki's Ramayana (500 cantos[1]), Dante's The Divine Comedy (100 cantos[2]), and Ezra Pound's The Cantos (120 cantos).


  1. ^ Dutt 2004, p. 198
  2. ^ "The Divine Comedy: A Study Guide". (Michael J. Cummings). 2003. Retrieved 2010-01-09.