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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Canto \Can"to\, n.; pl. Cantos. [It. canto, fr. L. cantus singing, song. See Chant.]

  1. One of the chief divisions of a long poem; a book.

  2. (Mus.) The highest vocal part; the air or melody in choral music; anciently the tenor, now the soprano.

    Canto fermo[It.] (Mus.), the plain ecclesiastical chant in cathedral service; the plain song.


n. (plural of canto English)

Usage examples of "cantos".

If the poet's offer was real, the "wild stories" of the Cantos would hold every relevance for me.

At the end of the old poet's Cantos, after the Fall of the WorldWeb, the Hegemony Consul had taken a ship back to the Web.

According to the Cantos, the ship the Hegemony Consul had left Hyperion in had been infused with the persona of the second John Keats cybrid.

In the Cantos the priest pilgrim-Paul Dure-tells his tale of discovering the lost tribe, the Bikura, and learning how they had survived centuries by a cruciform symbiote offered to them by the legendary Shrike.

His Cantos had mentioned some plot by the warring AI TechnoCore to steal Old Earth-to spirit it away to either the Hercules Cluster or the Magellanic Clouds, the Cantos were inconsistent-but that was fantasy.

As de Soya watches the Holy Father celebrate Mass, the Pax captain thinks of the story of Julius's ascendancy-learned through both official Church history and the banned poem the Cantos, which every literate teenager reads at the risk of his soul, but reads nonetheless.

The Cantos told, in their confused mix of pagan mythology and garbled history, of how Dure had crucified himself in the flame forests of Hyperion's Pinion Plateau rather than return the cruciform to the Church.

According to the blasphemous Cantos, Hoyt had accepted Dure's cruciform as well as his own, but had later returned to Hyperion in the last days before the Fall to beg the evil Shrike to relieve him of his burden.

Then the verses of the Cantos come to mind, and he remembers the female pilgrim in that story.

Is it possible that they have brought him here to the Vatican to punish him for reading the Cantos when he was a child?

This second legend, of course, had become part of Martin Silenus's epic Cantos, and if his tale was to be believed, Siri had been the Consul's grandmother.

In the Cantos the Hegemony Consul had used this very same hawking mat ("hawking" here with a small h because it referred to the Old Earth bird, not to the pre-Hegira scientist named Hawking whose work had led to the C-plus breakthrough with the improved interstellar drive) to cross Hyperion in one final legend-this being the Consul's epic flight toward the city of Keats from the Valley of the Time Tombs to free this very ship and fly it back to the tombs.

Trying to remember the details of the Priest's Tale in the old man's Cantos, I could remember only that it was here-just within the labyrinth entrance-that Father Dure and the Bikura had encountered the Shrike and the cruciforms.

With all of the Cantos talk of the One Who Teaches, I had expected someone extraordinary-a young messiah in toga, a prodigy delivering cryptic utterances-but the only thing extraordinary about this young person was the powerful clarity of her dark eyes.

Neither the Cantos nor the old poet himself had said anything about the so-called One Who Teaches earning a living as an architect.