Foreword Reviews

Inspired by the Holy Ghost

Spiritual Poetic Messages Received from Popular Songs

Clarion Rating: 2 out of 5

The poems of Inspired by the Holy Ghost assure their audience that consistent faith in Jesus will result in personal salvation.

Aimee Cabo Nikolov’s personalized poetry collection Inspired by the Holy Ghost is made up of Christian interpretations of popular songs.

Drawn from a religious podcast, these straightforward poems concern individuals’ relationships with God, and are written with a focus on helping others in their times of strife. Loneliness, toxic relationships, and general suffering are prominent topics in the book; in individual entries, God is said to assist people of faith when it comes to finding strength and give them a sense of security, even in times of adversity. Gentle admonishments are present, too, as well as suggestions that God’s guidance will be bestowed upon all who look inward and accept God’s grace.

“I Love You Baby,” inspired by the song by Illy and Emilee, professes that all who love and believe in Jesus will find solace within themselves:

God can replace the loneliness
we feel at night.
Trust him when he says he will provide,
show us the way… even in darkness, we will see light.

However, the poems’ contexts are not always present, and their reliance on popular music as a source of inspiration results in generic musings on broad subjects. Most of the referenced songs are secular, and their meanings are often stretched too far to fit the poems’ intentions, as with “Como La Flor,” inspired by Selena’s popular song, and here retooled to discuss personal salvation within the context of a toxic relationship. Its late incorporation of grace into the narrative is vague:

But know that change starts with me.
I must become who I want the other person to be.

Love must be nurtured
in order to grow,
just like a flower,
God showed us love and kindness from the first hello.

The poems also draw on the rhyme schemes and meters of the original songs, resulting in variation, if not a sense of originality. Most of the poems follow the same quatrain patterns in their constructions, becoming indistinguishable from one another—apart from occasional insertions of quotes from the referenced songs. Coupled with the collection’s reliance on nonspecific and familiar imagery—of light versus dark, good versus evil, and faith versus deception—the result is a book that is underdeveloped. Further, most of the entries arrive at similar suggestions for confronting hardships and cultivating faith, and their reliance on outside art for embellishment is distracting.

The poems of Inspired by the Holy Ghost assure their audience that consistent faith in Jesus will result in personal salvation.

Reviewed by Aleena Ortiz

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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