The paper focuses on some of the key poetic means used by the American Modernist poet Marianne Moore in her poems describing places, both specific (Mt. Tacoma, New York) and general (the sea, a seaside town). Moore’s poems aim at precise observation and description, they put stress on detail, but at the same time the places described in them remain elusive, they do not yield easily to description. A poem is trying to capture them through metaphors, catalogues, scientific terms, cultural references, etc., which, however, often seem inadequate, misleading, failing to grasp the authenticity and “genuineness” of the place. The place tends to turn into a metaphor in the text, to move away from its authentic existence; the description tries to approach it, but at the same time it attracts attention to itself and the described keeps escaping it.