Patrick Kavanagh (1904-1967)

To be a poet and not know the trade,
To be a lover and repel all women;
Twin ironies by which great saints are made,
The agonising pincer-jaws of heaven.

During the BAFTA awards in February 2002, Russell Crowe won an award for Best Actor for his role in A Beautiful Mind. During his acceptance speech, he read this poem. He was furious when he discovered that the poem, as well as a minute and a half of his speech, including parts where he thanked John Nash and his wife Alicia, were cut. Lenghty speeches by recipients are a perrenial problem for award shows, but Crowe says, prior to the cuts, his speech was less than two minutes long.

Backstage, Crowe pinned producer Malcolm Gerrie against the wall and verbally berated him, to the delight of gossip columnists worldwide. Crowe defended his anger but he did call Gerrie and apologize to him. The speech was left intact for international airings of the awards show, but ironically not in the version shown in Australia, where Crowe gathered with friends on his New South Wales farm to watch it.

Many suspect that this incident and his overall tempermental reputation contributed to the Academy's decision to award the best actor oscar to Denzel Washington instead of Crowe.

Sources: BBC News, The Guardian

Sanc"ti*ty (?), n.; pl. Sanctities (#). [L. sanctitas, from sanctus holy. See Saint.]


The state or quality of being sacred or holy; holiness; saintliness; moral purity; godliness.

To sanctity she made no pretense, and, indeed, narrowly escaped the imputation of irreligion. Macaulay.


Sacredness; solemnity; inviolability; religious binding force; as, the sanctity of an oath.


A saint or holy being.


About him all the sanctities of heaven. Milton.

Syn. -- Holiness; godliness; piety; devotion; goodness; purity; religiousness;sacredness; solemnity. See the Note under Religion.


© Webster 1913.

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