In both my fiction and my poetry, a huge amount comes simply from observation. And observation comes from being interested. That starts when you're a child. It's the escape - the relief - from the ego.
C. K. Stead
The child as observer being the father/mother of the writer is an interesting one. I agree that observation and interest are crucial for good writing, especially for poetry. Keeping the child's curious view of the world is a wonderful gift for the adult and young adult writer. Such observation and interest are certainly seen in Stead's writings.