canto

Long books have chapters. Long poems do, too. But a chapter in a long poem is called a canto.

There are several famous poems that are divided into cantos, including Dante's The Divine Comedy and Lord Byron's Don Juan. Canto is an Italian word coming from Latin which means song or singing. From Italian it was borrowed in English to mean a section of a poem.

Primary Meanings of canto

1.
n
a major division of a long poem
2.
n
the highest part (usually the melody) in a piece of choral music
Full Definitions of canto
1

n a major division of a long poem

Type of:
section, subdivision
a self-contained part of a larger composition (written or musical)
2

n the highest part (usually the melody) in a piece of choral music

Type of:
voice part
a part written for a singer

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