YOUR SAY

You are invited to express your opinion about anything connected with my work – music, lyrics, articles, interviews or radio shows. You are invited to share it right here, by adding a comment or sending an email to alina.alens[at]gmail.com.

And just to put you at ease, you can comment in any language.

Add your line to this on-line Guest Book!

Here’s what people are saying about my poetry, readings, music, and other cultural events:

Painter Serge Vasilendiuc (artist website):

“Over Now” – superba! smooth…
“You are not alone” – frumoasa! mi-am amintit de iubirea mea din adolescenta: Sinead… 🙂

Remixurile la “Maine” ambientale, imi amintesc pe undeva de islandezii de la Sigur Ros. Bravo!
Cand apare albumul retine doua pentru mine… 🙂

Trainer & world trekker Alina Violeta Tanase (blog):

Alina, am colindat prin pagina ta si ma simt ca si cand m-am intors dintr-o vacanta 🙂
Cand ne-am cunoscut in 2007… erai la inceputul acestui drum catre tine insati. Ma bucur enorm sa observ toate aceste transformari, schimbari, sa-ti ascult melodiile de neuitat.

Draga mea…o carare prin viata cat mai fermecata!

Singer Nandini Srikar (website):

I just finished reading your book of poetry. And I must say I loved it very much. There’s so much of sensitivity, emotional depth and character to your writing that I cant believe you are so young. 🙂
There is so much of pain, longing that is so mixed up with hope in these words.

Nobody ever learns how to die,

even if they’ve died already a million times for one love

…so true!

I wish I could look you in the eye like anybody else,
but I can’t
I wish I could dance with you like with anybody else,
but I can’t
I can’t talk to you in a language other than love.

…I could feel these words talking to me and somewhere deep down they speak my language.

I sincerely hope many people get to read your poetry and the love you have woven into them. I hope they will get to feel your beauty, love and depth of soul. Thank you for sending me the copy to read. There’s so little I can say in words and so much that I feel, but I’m sure you can understand, in your silence, that which is felt and can never be translated to words. Bless you, my dear!!

English Teacher Agnieszka Kurdzielewicz:

I’ve read your poems and I love them!
I was travelling on a tiny crowded bus at the time, somewhere between Rabka and Kraków,which did not prevent me from crying over them. It had been a long time since poetry had moved me so deeply.

You’ve managed to catch in them some deep truth of the heart, something universally relevant to human experience, which is probably (the result of) your talent as well as the fact that love is so universal. I especially loved To the man with the briefcase and Woman/Man in love. As you rightly predicted, the Archer poem stirred my imagination, althouh while I loved the first verses, halfway through it started getting lenghty and maybe a bit (przegadany). Mind you, I still consider it a great poem!

The images of Kraków turning into wet Venice, of thunders when the phone calls, of dreams sleeping so sensually side by side are still with me, crouching at the back of my mind and creeping at me when I least expect them to reappear.

Thank you for the book and for the unusual pleasure it has been giving me!

Painter Dominika Balakowska/ Wojtylak:

There were so many people at your poetry reading that afterwards I felt a bit shy, 🙂 but I wanted to let you know how I like the way you think and write!

I think there’s no point to tell you about your poems – you know yourself their specific features – I wish you will always have this special abillity to share your world with others. Words and poems like yours are our streets, trees, castels that our city is built on. 🙂

Pozdrowienia!
Writer Christopher Reid (Wikipedia profile):
Good luck with your efforts to sell your book. I know from experience how much work is needed, but the satisfaction of getting things done exactly as you wish them to be done is not to be underestimated. You appear to have plenty of energy, too, so I am confident you will achieve all that you set your heart on!
Writer James Hopkin:
Thanks for your wonderful book and inscription.
I really enjoyed reading your thought-poem and I will read it again.
Professor Agnieszka Korycinska:
On June 1st and 2nd [2009]  we are having a very important international conference and I want to seize this oportunity to promote your book. I would need approximately 80 copies of your book to offer them to every participant from Poland, Norway, Bulgaria, UK, USA, Slovakia, Germany, France, the USA General Consulate, the dean of the Jagiellonian University and a myriad of other very important people.
Philology student Marek Jankowski:
I am sorry but I will be unable to participate in your project due, in part, to conflicting schedules and, in part, to the fact that I have been awarded a scholarship and have to apply a lot of time and energy to deal with the paperwork and the preparations that go with it. I hope to be able to take part in your project as a member of the audience though.
Your poems are absolutely lovely, by the way!
Either way, fingers crossed. Go forth and succeed!
Guitarist Jarek Smietana:
Thanks for the dedication and beautiful poems.
They are magic and really touch my soul.
You are absolutely a great artist and a beautiful human being.

Voice teacher Agata Pisko-Schaberl:

Thank you for inviting me to your radio program!!!
I am very proud to have been one of the people you interviewed!
It has been really great to get to know you.
I strongly believe we will meet soon. All the best on your way!!! You sing beautifully!!!!!!
Take care!
Former student Przemek Banka about the book release performance  in Piwnica Pod Baranami (Krakow, May, 2009):
I would like to thank you very much for inviting me to such a great event! 🙂 All in all, it was a nice surprise for me to have such a good time there, in Piwnica! Unfortunately, I was  about 15 minutes late and I didn’t see the very beginning of the show. Nevertheless, I must admit that it was touching – to say the least – to hear some of your poems  read in Polish… The guitar music in the background was also a good idea and I would attach it to most of your poems… It is a matter of taste, of course. I was surprised by the expressiveness of the dance  presented by one of the performers [Sonia Parwicka] while you were reading the Archer poem… The fact that I almost got hit by one of the paper planes she launched from the stage at the end is nothing in comparison with the feelings that this reading-and-dance-and-music performance inspired!
I would like to write a few words about the concert. 🙂 It was a pity that the hall was relatively small, even though the music in there sounded quite loud! There was a really good atmosphere in the audience – what may have added to it were the Italians cheering and the people dancing. 😉
I will definitely encourage my friends to go to your next concert!
Last but not least, am I right to think that you were heaving a great time on the stage?
You looked it, and in my opinion, you had good reasons for it, too. 😀
Book Release Show & ALENS Concert Reviews:
May 21st, 2009, Pod Baranami

Former student Przemek Banka:
Chciałbym bardzo podziękować za zaproszenie na tak wspaniałą imprezę artystyczną. Sięgając do niej pamięcią muszę powiedzieć, że naprawdę byłem zaskoczony tym jak pozytywnie minął mi czas w Piwnicy! Niestety byłem spóźniony około 15 minut i w efekcie nie widziałem samego początku występu. Niemniej jednak muszę przyznać, że nawet bez niego udało mi się wczuć w panującą wówczas atmosferę. Słuchanie niektórych recytacji zaprezentowanych w języku polskim było co najmniej poruszające. Zdecydowanie dobrze wpasował się w całość akompaniament gitary, dźwięcznie wypełniających tło – choć jest to rzecz gustu, rozważyłbym wprowadzenie go do większej ilości prezentowanych utworów…
Kolejną niespodzianką był niesamowicie ekspresyjny taniec jednej z dziewcząt, zaprezentowany w trakcie autorskiej recytacji jednego z dłuższych fragmentów… Nawet fakt, iż prawie zostałem trafiony 😉 rzucanymi przez nią papierowymi samolocikami nie mógł zepsuć jakże pozytywnego wrażenia wywołanego przez całość – recytację, taniec, muzykę… Drugą częścią widowiska był koncert, o którym również chciałbym napisać kilka słów. Ogólnie bardzo spodobało mi się to co usłyszałem i zobaczyłem, jednakże doskwierała nieco mała sala, w której całość miała miejsce. Z drugiej strony, atmosfera jaką udało się Wam wytworzyć była naprawdę niesamowita, wystarczy wspomnieć, że znalazły się osoby, które radośnie podrygiwały w takt prezentowanej przez Was muzyki 🙂 Biorąc to wszystko pod uwagę, będę starał się zachęcić znajomych, żeby wybrali się ze mną na Wasz następny koncert! Tak jak mówiłem, w zasadzie nie mam nic przeciwko, żeby ta opinia znalazła się w internecie. W razie jakichkolwiek pytań/wątpliwości proszę o maila – przemek.banka@gmail.com 🙂

Former student Daniel Huzior:

Był  21 maja, czwartek studencki. Kończył się kolejny tydzień studiów, w gorącym okresie zbliżającej się sesji. Wraz z kilkoma przyjaciółmi z uczelni postanowiliśmy spędzić ten wieczór w kultowym dla Krakowa miejscu – „Piwnicy pod baranami”.

Przyznam, że ciekawy byłem jak będzie wyglądać połączenie recytacji poezji z koncertem. Przypuszczałem że taka impreza artystyczna może zmienić się w coś w rodzaju nudnej szkolnej akademii.  W rzeczywistości jednak atmosfera tego wieczoru była naprawdę wyjątkowa i niepowtarzalna.

Pierwsza część imprezy składała się z recytacji wierszy z książki Aliny Alens – „The incomplete fantasy we call love” („Niedokończona fantazja zwana miłością”). Wiersze czytane były w języku angielski i polskim. Recytacji towarzyszył akompaniament gitary, czasem bębnów, a nawet bardzo oryginalny i ekspresyjny taniec jednej z artystek. Wszystko to nadawało wieczorowi charakter artystycznej uczty.

Początkowo miałem wrażenie że wiersze Aliny są trudne do odszyfrowania. Jednak z biegiem czasu zrozumiałem, że trzeba je odczytywać z punktu widzenia osoby zakochanej, dla której nie liczą się poszczególne słowa, ale cała głębia wyrazu i formy w jakich są ułożone i jaki sposób  są czytane. Twórczość Aliny jest przeniknięta tęsknotą za ukochanym, miłość jest dla niej sensem i centrum wokół którego toczy się każde życie ludzkie. Miłość ta pokonuje bariery kulturowe, etniczne i geograficzne. Dzięki dwujęzycznej koncepcji imprezy dostrzec można było uniwersalny charakter idei, które chce przekazać autorka wierszy. Uczucie pomiędzy dwojgiem ludzi może narodzić się, bez względu na język, kulturę, czy szerokość geograficzną, z której pochodzą zakochani. Przyznam, że poezja ta dała mi dużo do myślenia.

Zaraz po zakończeniu recytacji miał miejsce koncert Aliny Alens i jej zespołu. Muzyka była naprawdę dobra. Szczególnie podobała mi się ballada: „Back to Myself.” Wokalistka między poruszające fragmenty piosenki wprowadziła wiersze swojego autorstwa. W Piwnicy pod baranami wyczuć można było atmosferę młodości i energetyzującą osobę wokalistki, która rewelacyjnie potrafi nawiązać kontakt z publicznością. Dalsze kawałki doskonale nadawały się do tańca, do którego długo nie trzeba nas było namawiać.

Bawiliśmy się tego wieczora cudownie i na pewno będziemy śledzić dalszą działalność artystyczną Aliny Alens. Każdemu polecam spróbować tego rodzaju wrażeń. Są  one niepowtarzalne i piękne.

Writer and former student Eliza Vian (author of Il Diario di un Erasmus):
Un colorato palcoscenico ha dipinto la fresca atmosfera al Pod Baranami dove ieri sera, si è svolto uno spettacolo all’insegna della creatività.
Una combinazione di numeri, dalla lettura di poesie con voci etniche alternate, all’emozionante concerto rock tutto ideato dalla brillante Alina. “The Incomplete Fantasy We Call Love” è il nome del libro pubblicato recentemente dall’artista che la scorsa notte ha dato prova delle sue capacità, unendosi alla collaborazione della sua band e dei suoi amati studenti (nella vita quotidiana, Alina è professoressa d’inglese).
Accolti da un caloroso applauso hanno dato il via alla loro prestazione. Le poesie sono state lette sia in polacco che in inglese, e ad interpretarle è stato posto l’accompagnamento di una chitarra e di una danza corporea. L’intesa tra i collaboratori era tanto alta che si poteva percepire esattamente il messaggio da loro trasmesso.
Non appena la band ha cominciato a suonare, l’aria si è riempita di energia; il ritmo era sostenuto dal battito di mani della folla e qualcuno si è persino alzato in piedi e ha cominciato a ballare deliziato dalla meravigliosa musica, aggiungendo così un’ esibizione in più!
Una manifestazione di alchimia provocata da un caleidoscopio di sensazioni; espressione di se stessi attraverso il proprio io con passione e ascoltando il ritmo del proprio cuore battere all’unisono con il mondo. L’evento di Alina Alens ha dimostrato com’è possibile diventare il capolavoro della propria vita!

Love poems… again?

Book Review

 

It is not fashionable, these days, to write sincerely about love without keeping in the back of our mind the huge cultural burden of clichés and wet tissues. If you are strong enough to get rid of this impaired judgment, you are definitely on the right track. This book begins with patience. It may remind some of you of T. S. Elliot, while it will touch a muffled sound of innocence in others:

Where should we let our hearts camp on the map of this world?

What makes this book unique

Alina Alens’ poetry becomes complex with each page, in that it narrows down the impression love creates on individuals. The lines spin halfway between the distant echo of life and the more familiar undertone of a collapsing vitality.

I could say that her poetry emerges from an energetic vision, enhanced by memory, but deteriorated by words. Inner thought is shaped by dramatic effects (pause, dissipated letters, cleft paragraphs), which underline that the poem is interplay of voices that come together to expose the changes brought about by love:

“Mine – resting on the way to wherever,

Yours – resting on the way to ‘I don’t remember’.”


Love does not bring us closer to our transcendence, but rather to the mysterious corners of our mind where language becomes the backbone of creativity rather than communication.

The author gives us the stumbled perspective of objects without names, intentions deprived of aim and passion delivered of its first fleeting intensity:

“If I am the only thing you really have

that’s worth loving,

What would you aim me at?


Love is displayed beyond the interface of convention and more closely linked to our unique personal halo.

In fact, love cannot be tackled in an abstract way, but rather as the mirror of human relationships. Painful, exhilarating and imminent, the making of a couple is as tantalizing an act as the making of a new world, with its lapses, downfalls, imperfect variants and staggering representations:

“A corner of your skin no larger than a fingerprint

m i s s e s  me

The edges of the only photo you have of me

m i s s  an inch of my shadow.”


Reshaped by feeling, the individual becomes a persona of great intuition which moulds silence into witty wordplay:

Imagination is beyond irony,

yet, imagine

Packing itself into an envelope, the arrow delivers itself

to your address.”

This is in fact the essence of love – to teach us how to push our own silence beyond a language of crisis into our unexplored sensuality:

“Did you know that a painter can live in a line,

A line his hand draws into infinity?”

Is it us who define love or is it love that defines us?

The lover tailors an unseen stage of words and texts. Strangely enough, the stage becomes so intimately tied with the individual that it turns numbness into method.

We are what we create in our extreme moments, which are the only ones that bring out the best in us:

“You’ve never learnt how to l o v e

if you haven’t felt his presence in his absence.”


The body is a floating entity, dragged along by the intensity of being involved in the world. Forgetting about ourselves and finding the beauty of numbness create the delicate poetry of the inexpressible.

Melania Duma,

PhD student in Linguistics,

Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

November, 2007

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One response

  1. p s belfast

    Ditto above. Thank you!

    July 8, 2012 at 11:59 am

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