The cliché image of how Japanese people like to put an end to things usually involves some fierce-looking guy who suddenly cuts through something (or someone) with a single strike of a samurai sword. But in the reality of modern Japan, urgent issues are much more likely to die of old age than to be eliminated in such a swift way. Instead of the sword, the typical Japanese weapon now seems to be the broom — a much more useful tool for sweeping everything under the rug.
However, the Japanese fondness for the art of decisive finishes is still alive, as evidenced by the rich inventory of words and expressions that are related to the concept of ending. One of them is the idiom けりをつける, which means "to settle", "to bring to an end" (the intransitive counterpart is けりがつく). This idiom is used particularly in the context of some lingering issue that remained unresolved for a long time and was finally dealt with.
Now, つける and つく are self-explanatory, but what on earth is that けり that we're supposed to "attach"? This curious word is actually an old auxiliary verb whose primary function was to mark the past tense. けり is the default sentence-final form, but being a verb, it has other conjugations such as ける and けれ.
けり was (and still is) extensively used in the main traditional forms of Japanese poetry — tanka and haiku. In poetry it's mainly used either as a "cutting word" (切れ字, a punctuating element that creates a pause in the poem), or to express the writer's new realization of some preexisting situation.
As けり is such a common sight at the end of poems, it came to be associated with the notion of finishing things. To write a けり in a poem is to write a full stop, and so is "attaching a けり" to anything else.
And now that we've outed けり as having a poetic soul, let's see how it's used in an actual poem — a haiku by Natsume Soseki (夏目漱石), which is featured in Reajer book 42, Summer Haiku (the poems in the book are all by Soseki).
Enjoying the cool air here in the shaded bamboo grove, I suddenly realize I've been bitten by a mosquito.
The final element, ける, is none other than けり in disguise; it sits in its favorite place, which gave it fame as a synonym of "finish" — right at the end of the line, and of the poem as a whole. Here it's combined with 喰はれ (pronounced くわれ), the passive form of 喰う, "to bite", "to sting", and has the above-mentioned function of expressing new realization.
The reason this poem uses けり in the form of ける is that the preceding particle ぞ causes this change automatically. This is explained in more detail in the ebook, but don't worry about it — it only applies to the older grammar.
When modern poets write traditional poems they do use the old literary grammar rules, but other than that, the only place you'll ever meet けり nowadays is as a standalone word, in the idiomatic sense of "full stop", "ending". If you use it in conversation you are sure to impress your listeners — even if that doesn't mean that a final conclusion is likely to show up anytime soon.
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