Dear SCP Members and Readers,

Poet Leo Zoutewelle died on March 11, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina under the care of Presbyterian Hospital hospice. He was born on December 19, 1935 in Holland and grew up while Holland was occupied by Nazi Germany. He emigrated to the United States after college and married Carol Hazlewood in 1957. He went on to careers in banking and surveying. His interests included playing violin and writing. After retiring in 2012, he produced two novels and an autobiography. He became an enthusiastic Member of the Society of Classical Poets in 2019. He is survived by two sons, a daughter, and five grandchildren. 

The SCP sends its condolences to Mr. Zoutewelle’s wife, family, and friends. He was a true poet. 

Click Here to Read the Poetry of Leo Zoutewelle.

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To Leo Zoutewelle (1935 – 2021)

He and I shared an interest in animals and an abhorrence for animal cruelty.

by Peter Hartley

Beyond his words a man I wish I knew,
But never met. His gentleness placed him,
For me, among the Christly few who brim
With love, as Cuthbert and St Francis do.
And what of lesser creatures that so few
Care to recall or give away some slim
Space in our thoughts for them? As they grow dim
Their mortal souls too will withdraw from view.

And then when out of sight is out of mind
We’ll find they were remembered with their kind,
By One for whom no sparrow falls and One
Whose toil goes on, whose work is never done.
For then we find achievements in his art
Acknowledge His, who sets them both apart.

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24 Responses

  1. C.B. Anderson

    Leo provided many a fine poem for the readers of these pages. He will be missed. Somehow, as a trans-lingual, he gave us glimpses into the possibilities of our native language that we otherwise might have missed. Thank you, Leo, for enriching the SCP archives, where you still hold a place in our collective memories. You were one of a kind, and irreplaceable.

    Reply
    • Hannah Z. Graham

      Thank you, Mr. Anderson. Your words mean so much to me and to my family.

      Warmly,
      Hannah Zoutewelle

      Reply
    • Hannah Z. Graham

      Thank you, Mr. Salemi. : ) The support from all of you touches my heart.

      Warmly,
      Hannah Zoutewelle

      Reply
  2. Mike Bryant

    I didn’t know Leo, except for the sweet nature revealed in his comments and poetry. The picture on the left speaks his dignity. The other, with the cubs, speaks to his gentleness.

    Leo was a poet.
    Leo was a man.
    Yes, he was a lion
    Like the one under his hand.

    Rest In Peace, Leo.

    Reply
    • Hannah Z. Graham

      Thank you, Mr. Bryant. I love your poem. : )

      Warmly,
      Hannah Zoutewelle

      Reply
    • Hannah Zoutewelle Graham

      And, of course, I will cherish your poem, as well. : )
      ~HZG

      Reply
  3. James Sale

    God bless Leo – he was a fine poet, an eternal learner, and also a generous soul. I will – we will – miss him.

    Reply
    • Hannah Z. Graham

      Thank you, Mr. Sale. Everyone’s support means more than you all will know.

      Warmly,
      Hannah Zoutewelle

      Reply
  4. Daniel Kemper

    Rest in Peace. Consolation and healing for all who will miss him.

    Reply
    • Hannah Z. Graham

      Thank you, Mr. Kemper. Thank you.

      Warmly,
      Hannah Zoutewelle

      Reply
  5. Sally Cook

    Leo knew to recognize real poetry from conventional blatherings. He was always willing to express an opinion and to debate an opposing thought. SPC has lost a real gentleman. Bon Voyage, Leo, on your journey.

    Reply
    • Hannah Z. Graham

      Thank you, Ms. Cook. Your words touch my heart. He was a true gentleman and it is comforting to see others notice this, as well.

      Warmly,
      Hannah Zoutewelle
      (Leo’s daughter)

      Reply
    • Hannah Z. Graham

      Thank you, Mr. Tessitore. Everyone’s support means so much.

      Warmly,
      Hannah Zoutewelle

      Reply
  6. Margaret Coats

    Taking advantage of the link above, I was looking over the poems Leo Zoutewelle published here–only since summer 2019! What’s most touching is the little note of gratitude and appreciation in Comments following his last poem (December 20, 2020). He praises SCP for exchange of ideas and pleasant conviviality, hoping that we maintain and strengthen this facility for a long time. We’ll keep you in our hearts, Leo.

    Reply
    • Hannah Z. Graham

      Thank you, Ms. Coats. My father adored being a part of SCP. It was often the topic of conversation during our visits. He truly appreciated the integrity of everyone’s poetry and felt honored to be part of such a group.

      Warmly,
      Hannah Zoutewelle

      Reply
  7. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    My thoughts and prayers go out to those closest to Leo. I only knew him through his beautiful and inspirational poetry (the superb ‘Bees Are Spectacular’ being my favorite) and his encouraging comments. Leo certainly made his mark here at SCP and he will be missed.

    Reply
    • Hannah Z. Graham

      Thank you, Ms. Bryant. Your words touch my heart and I am just so proud to be Leo’s daughter. Everyone’s support and comments mean so much.

      Warmly,
      Hannah Zoutewelle

      PS: He loved his bees! : )

      Reply
  8. David Watt

    My impression of Leo, gained through reading his poetry and the generous comments he contributed, is that of a dignified, educated, and caring
    gentleman. His enthusiasm for life always shone through in his poetry. Leo will be greatly missed.

    Reply
    • Hannah Z. Graham

      Thank you, Mr. Watt. Your comments mean so much to me (and my family). I’m just remembering now, that it was my father’s brother, Anton, in Utrecht that brought everyone’s comments to my attention. He was/is very touched, as am I. Thank you.

      Warmly,
      Hannah Zoutewelle

      Reply
  9. BDW

    The opening quatrain of the following tennos are my personal thoughts only the rest draws with pieces from several of the commenters here:

    Leo Zoutewelle (1935-2921)
    by Sir Bac de Leuew

    He was a man of great humility and simple grace,
    a rarity, particularly in this time and place.
    He came to poetry so carefully and cautiously,
    collecting seashells at the edge of its colossal sea.
    Lo, he embarked upon his raft with courage, craft and heart.
    He sailed awave with feeling, the main secret of his art.
    He left his Holland for a journey to another land,
    like those Dutch seamen famed of eld, intrepid in command.
    Eternal learner who surveyed the lands he came to see,
    reminding us at moments of his generosity.
    Forgive this plain, pathetic po-em, this restrained homage,
    gratuitous, in gratitude, Great, Lion, bon voyage.

    Sir Bac de Leuew is a poet of the Netherlands. According to Beau Lecsi Werd, awave is a mix of away and wave, suggesting movement out, etc

    Reply
    • Hannah Z. Graham

      Dear Sir Bac de Leuew,

      Thank you for this beautiful poem. I didn’t realize, at first, that you created it for my father alone. It is beautiful and I cherish it.

      To hear all of the group’s generous comments means more than you all know. Knowing that my father held the respect from a group he held so high, gives me great comfort. (He was not an easy man to please. : )

      Thank you all so much!

      Warmly,
      Hannah Zoutewelle Graham

      Reply

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