Previously unknown poetry by the famous German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe has been discovered on a computer in rural Australia.
The series of twenty poems has never been seen before and scholars are at a loss to explain when and where Goethe may have written them or how they ended up so far from Germany. Many are puzzled by their lewd and mawkish tone, with some even suggesting they may be by a lesser poet like Mayrhofer.
23-year-old John Man, who owns the computer on which the poems were discovered, reluctantly spoke to the press about his newfound fame. “Well I didn’t write them. Yeah, I was just copying these poems I found in an old book.”
The poems are all eloquent and sometimes racy expressions of love for a young girl named “prettybetty67!” Several poems insistently request a meeting with prettybetty67! at oddly specific locations in Australia using dates and times well beyond Goethe’s lifetime, showing that Goethe was an even more prophetic genius than previously imagined.
In an astonishing coincidence, Man accidentally sent the poems via MSN messenger to someone whose username also happened to be prettybetty67! These messages were intercepted by federal police who promptly alerted the Goethe Institute about their existence.
Unfortunately since Man transcribed the poems he has not been able to locate the original book in which they appeared. Scholars are busy searching the house but have not been able to locate the poems. “If we can find the book,” said Bob Guy, Head of Scholars, “we can compare Man’s translation to the original German and hopefully understand why none of the poems rhyme in English, or for that matter have any grace or style to them at all. Translation is a notoriously tricky business and we suspect that in his enthusiasm Man worked a little too quickly. For example, in one poem Goethe pleads with his love to grant him a brief glimpse of her body:
can i c ur tits
It is far more likely that Goethe himself would have used the subjunctive to express such profound longing.”
We were able to track down the owner of the prettybetty67! profile, a 14-year-old girl from Melbourne, and we asked her what she thought about the uncanny coincidence connecting her to 19th century German poet. “It’s so weird. I totes never used to read, but after finishing Harry Potter this whole new world of literature was opened up to me. Just as I was getting into the early German Romantics these racy messages appeared in my inbox, and I was all like, next step Goethe.”
Man reportedly owns other unpublished letters by Vladimir Nabokov and Benjamin Britten though his hard drive was recently formatted by a high-powered data clearing program he downloaded from the internet. Technicians are hopeful that the texts can be recovered, and are working around the clock to preserve these precious documents. Man was reportedly not confident with their chances. “Yeah I payed good money for that program. It’s just a shame I accidentally deleted all the files you happen to be interested in.”