I see that the cover was designed by Leonard Baskin, and the cover's typography by Edward Gorey. Neither of these names would have meant a thing to me in 1959. Later, around 1964, in Lansing, my friend Dennis Little, who must have been one of Gorey's earliest fans, turned me onto the fabulously twisted humor of Edward Gorey. Dennis owned those early little Gorey books that Gorey was printing himself in editions of just a few hundred.
And Leonard Baskin, in the fifties, founded Gehenna Press, which published exquisite and limited editions, usually of his own woodcuts, and sometimes the writings of others with Baskin's woodcuts as illustrations. He eventually was teaching printmaking and sculpture at Smith College, where, in the late fifties, he met Sylvia Plath and her husband Ted Hughes. He provided many illustrations for Hughes' books from the early sixties up to the time of their deaths -- that of Hughes in 1998 and Baskin's in 2000.
(Gorey probably designed way more Anchor covers than Baskin; this is the only one I've seen by Baskin whereas I've noticed thirty or forty designed by Gorey.)
But, setting aside Baskin and Gorey, this is Emily's deathday! And of the 1800-or-so poems she wrote, below is one of my favorites, one that I long ago committed to memory. It's amazing how comfortable she is with death, how charmingly and casually she speaks of him (is seduced by him, some have posited).
Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labour, and my leisure too,
For his civility.
We passed the school where children played,
Their lessons scarcely done;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.
We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.
Since then 'tis centuries; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.